No One Is Talking About This — A Review

One of the best things about the end of the year is it’s the time when lists come out and I’m a sucker for a list. I love it when people itemise things for me and tell me what to read, cook, listen to — even wear. Naturally I gravitate to books lists (and beauty products) and The New York Times Best Books of 2021 lead me to read No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood.

It’s on the New York Times Best Books list for a reason and everybody should be talking about it

Jia Tolentino blurbs the book saying “Reading Patricia Lockwood feels like looking through a kaleidoscope built by a mischievous sorcerer — the world is suddenly rearranged in fragments that are cosmic, wondrous and profane’ and while I know it’s my review and I should be using my own words I think there is no better description of this book than a kaleidoscope. Written in short and very sharp streams of consciousness each passage is almost poetical in its meaning, insight and form. I was not surprised to discover that Patricia Lockwood is a poet.

I wanted to share every word of this book with everyone I know. It is beautiful, sad, real and like nothing I have ever read before. The first part of the book had me furiously nodding my head and trying to commit entire paragraphs to my brain. It was punchy and brilliant and every word woke something in me. I couldn’t put it down. I was breathless in my reading, I felt like I was in the folds of Lockwood’s brain discovering new and amazing things all the time. It was chaotic and frenzied. Like watching Twitter unfold on a particularly newsworthy day but the tweets are profound and thoughtful.

The second half of the book is where the story unfolds and I cried and cried. Like much of the book it is based on real life events specifically when Lockwood’s unborn niece is diagnosed with the genetic disorder Proteus syndrome and it is where the real heart lies. All the chaos of the internet falls away (although the writing is still presented in short sharp bursts) and you are transported into the world of a loving family and a baby with a grim diagnosis.

If you have ever spent any time online or if you want to read a deeply profound and very ‘of the moment book’ this is for you. I am jealous of people who still get to read this book anew. I will definitely read it again. Also I am now obsessed with Patricia Lockwood.

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