Friday, December 22, 2023

Ten books to make you feel better about your dysfunctional family

Marissa Higgins is a lesbian writer. Her fiction has appeared in The Florida Review, Hayden's Ferry Review, X-Ray Literature, and elsewhere. Her nonfiction has appeared in the Best American Food Writing 2018, Glamour, NPR, Slate, and others.

Higgins's debut novel, A Good Happy Girl, is coming out with Catapult in 2024.

At the Chicago Review of Books she tagged "ten books likely to distract you from your hyper-specific family dramas and/or destroy you and your sense of self completely." One title on the list:
Poor Deer (out January 2024) by Claire Oshetsky

Poor Deer is an adult literary novel for weirdos. When is a childhood tragedy just a tragedy? When does it become someone’s fault, especially if the someone is a child? This book doesn’t ask if children are capable of harm; Oshetsky knows they are, rather if adults can love children who might just be monsters. Or—to the mothers in the narrative, just as possible—the child might be entirely innocent. The brunt of all this anguish might be a sort of victim, too. Or they’re entirely to blame. Oshetsky’s world is smart, thoughtful, sharp, and altogether disturbing—can you love a child you might just be afraid of? And can children love adults who insist on innocence in spite of reality? If you found the horror/family movies Mother! or Hereditary meaningful, you’ll love this one.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue