About Uncle by  Rebecca Gisler

About Uncle

Rebecca Gisler

This strangely beautiful, claustrophobic little book drops you deep into the tiny home and day-to-day life of Uncle and his nephew and niece. Uncle is quite a repellent concoction of excess and loud, smelly bodily functions. The 'yuk' factor is high. Yet his nephew (at first) and niece (later on her own) look after him, with care and even tenderness. It made me wonder why - and think hard about what binds any of us together as family.


In normal times, when Uncle was working, he washed once a week, and with any change in the routine, holidays for instance, Uncle stopped washing altogether, so when he didn't have to work Uncle let his beard and hair grow, and he never changed clothes, which is to say that he slept in the clothes he'd worn to go to the supermarket or shoot his bow, and he woke up at seven at night and three in the morning, and he stuffed himself with cookies and slices of andouille, and he smelled bad, as you might expect, and he smoked, and he drank beer, but he never drank strong spirits, as he often stressed, ....

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