Anyone who has ever read the Bible knows that God can speak. Over the course of six days, God speaks the world into existence and then speaks to both Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Later he speaks to Cain and Abel, to Noah, to Abraham and many others. What sorts of things does God say? He issues commands – ‘Let there be light!’ – he lays down prohibitions – ‘Don’t eat from that tree!’ – and he asks questions, metes out punishments, offers advice, forecasts the weather, and orders an old man to kill his only son. Sometimes he says these things calmly, sometimes sarcastically, occasionally his words are filled with anger or pity or love. When God speaks people listen, but when people listen, should they always believe him? In other words, can God lie?
And yet, more often than any book I can easily recall, Rapp's novel had me laughing like a fool, embarrassing myself each time I unthinkingly brought it out in public. Perhaps more surprisingly, that humor felt entirely natural — born organically from the idiosyncrasies of the characters themselves rather than foisted on them.
The first time I didn’t feel sad about feeling sad was on Sept. 17, 2013. I was in my therapist’s office. More specifically, I was lying on a table, faceup, in my therapist’s office. Maybe it sounds simple, but it was a trick I’d spent years practicing and trying to learn.
The former national poet of Wales commemorates her aunt in a bright and lively elegy that sees birds play metaphorical and metamorphic roles.