Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann

Ducks, Newburyport

Lucy Ellmann

Like an embodiment of the national ideal of 'mom and apple pie' values an American housewife muses on modern life while baking pies. In a chaotic flow of consciousness, her mind freewheels through word associations, lists, ideas, images, memories and dreams. The unorthodox style is a challenge to the artificiality of traditional narrative and also a test of the reader's stamina. Decide for yourself whether this audacious approach succeeds.

My memory’s worse than a sieve, the fact that it’s more like a funnel, and everything just spirals down the little chute and disappears somewhere, water spring, water-spout, ♫ I’m a little teapot ♫, measuring chickenfeed, the fact that another driverless car mowed down some woman and killed her, the fact that why would you let a ton of metal zoom around at thirty or forty miles an hour all by itself, with nobody at the controls, the fact that cars with drivers are bad enough, Laika, the fact that it’s terrible that poor dog was sent off into space like that
  • Ulysses by James Joyce
  • Weather by Jenny Offill