no one is talking about this, by Patricia Lockwood (Bloomsbury 2021)

Neil's picture

Patricia Lockwood is a poet and memoirist, this is her first, remarkably original novel. It is written in a series of short, fragmentary, disconnected parts, which build to a narrative of sorts, and half way through, an unexpected event leads to a shift in the narrative and the focus of the main character. The internet and social media, called the portal in the novel, play a significant part in the first section. The main character's entire life seems to be conducted online, and I guess the book is a morality tale about how real life is more important and meaningful than a life lived online. I didn't quite know what to make of this. The fragments are invariably beautiful and evocative, prose poems even, and it's an accessible read, but it did perplex me.