I read Marie Calloway’s new book last week and wrote something about it:
In many ways, what purpose did I serve in your life reads like a dirty YA novel. It’s largely about first times — Marie’s first sex work, Marie’s first threesome — and Calloway exhibits a willful naïveté about all of it. The narrator is emotionally detached, but claims insecurities that sound more academic than genuine in the retelling. In between various seductions and trysts, she occasionally observes that she’s not happy with her looks. (“I caught a glimpse of my face in his vanity mirror and thought I looked trashy and hideous.”) And in between, she does a lot of wondering to herself: “I wondered if I was buzzed or if it was just my fever.” “I wondered why I was so anxious.” “I wondered if he would ask me to stop and fuck him.” “I wondered if I would be forced to give him head for an entire hour.” “I wondered what the hell he was doing.” For my part, I wondered if there was another way to convey one’s interior monologue.
But Is It Good? The Problem with Marie Calloway’s Affectless Realism