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The Ordinary Extraordinary: Three Gorgeous Books

I have enjoyed three really gorgeous books recently–Baby by Paula Bomer, The Physics of Imaginary Objects by Tina May Hall and Bad Marie by Marcy Dermansky. These are books you’re very much going to want to read because they are, simply, exceptional.

I love domestic stories. There is an intimacy to them that I find very pleasing because we’re allowed to see moments that are terribly personal. Everyday life is always the most interesting to the person living it but there are writers who can take everyday life and make it interesting for anyone. I have discussed, at length, my love for The Little House on the Prairie books and one of the things I loved most about each of those books was how everyday life was made interesting in ways that were always hypnotic. I loved the precise details about home and hearth, the food the Ingalls ate, the bitterness of the cold winters. In the hands of the right writer, a domestic story is more than just a domestic story. Another one of my favorite books is The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton, another story where the details of domestic life, ¬†elegant and refined, are conveyed meticulously. The ordinary becomes extraordinary as we read about the social and domestic mores of a different people in a different time.


Reviews / 18 Comments
September 17th, 2010 / 3:40 pm

One of the books I’ve most enjoyed in recent memory is Tina May Hall’s All the Day’s Sad Stories which has been out of print for some time now. This has been particularly frustrating as it has impeded by my efforts to evangelize about the book by sending it to everyone I know as well as a few strangers. Good news! That novella will now be re-released as part of May Hall’s short story collection The Physics of Imaginary Objects, which just won the 2010 Drue Heinz Literature Prize. I shall take to my pulpit, as should we all.

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