My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Sum it up in a sentence (or two): Jami Attenberg's fictional retelling of the real life Mazie Phillips-Gordon, Queen of the Bowery.
First Thoughts: a quick read, and interesting, but not overwhelmingly so.
Who's telling this story?: We don't learn our narrator's name until page 132. The rest of the story is made up of "interviews" with people who knew Mazie and "excerpts" from her diary. I wondered while reading how long it took to organize all of these snippets and found myself thinking about the writing of the book more than the actual plot/story.
"You're the most precious thing I own. I didn't know it till I lost you. I didn't know it till I found you." -p114, Mazie, about her diary
"We didn't join each other. But I was satisfied that we were both bearing witness to the same sunrise." --173, Mazie's diary
"We're not entitled to all the truth." -p190, Elio Ferrante
"But being a little angry with yourself is all right. That's how shit gets accomplished." -p223, Pete Sorensen
Extra, extra, read all about it: Mazie in the NYT archives!
Final Thoughts: Who is this book about in the end? Mazie, yes. Her men. Her other men. Her family. And our narrator, too - [spoiler] once with Pete, now with Elio, if my reading between the lines is correct.
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