Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sleeping Funny

I am not a particularly strategic reader. Okay, that isn't entirely true, but I don't feel strategic when I choose books. I do make an effort (although it's hardly a chore) to read predominantly female authors and also focus on Canadian lit. This doesn't mean I won't read men, or that I don't read international offerings, but there are a lot of books out there and, consciously or not, most readers have a way of narrowing down what makes it into their to-be-read pile. Sometimes genre can be enough, but whatever way you choose your next read, chances are that a strategy is involved. In the last while, part of my strategy has been to read more short story collections. I really like short fiction, so it has been a happy turn of events that CanLit Knit has embraced short stories as well. Most recently we read Miranda Hill's Sleepy Funny, and although it wasn't everyone's favourite so far, it was mine.

The first story is set in a tony neighbourhood in a city I feel I should recognize, but can't quite (it could be Toronto or Vancouver, or a fictional mash up, but I'm not sure it quite matters). The neighbourhood is a cul de sac on which all the families are friends, the women are all successful, and everyone follows a sort of unwritten code. And then a new family moves in. The premise is not unique, but the way the story unfolds is nonetheless satisfying in the way Hill uses and subverts the tropes were accustomed to. The story is told from the perspectives of several of the women who live in the niehgbourhood, offering insight into their lives and children and views of the new neighbour, Michal Revivo-Smitherman, her husband, and their three children. 

In a story like this – where Michal's perspective is never given – it would be easy to make her a sort of manic pixie dream girl for the neighbourhood, where her bohemian life inspires the other women to change and her character remains nothing more than an archetype. But Michal is very much a person in this story – the longest in the collection – and by the end you feel you know her as well as you know the other women. By and large, this is a story about how neighbourhoods work – those tacit agreements we make to keep the peace and ensure property values remain high. It's a sort of domestic drama, and Hill's teasing out of the small details is beautifully done.

By the end of this first story, you really think you know where Hill is going with Sleeping Funny, and then you start the next story and find yourself somewhere entirely different. It's a jolt, but it isn't jarring – it's refreshing, really, to read a collection that really is just that. This is not a series of connected short stories or a collection of work in a certain style or on similar themes (although there are themes that run through many of the stories, family being one), but rather a collection of various stories that can be read individually or all at once. It has been a while since I read a collection whose stories weren't group by theme or style, and it was fun. 

I would like to say that I had a favourite, but each story, in the moment I was reading it, defined the collection for me. The only weak link (and weak only in the context of how strong the rest of this collection is) was the titular story, which is also the last. It felt a little more obvious, a little more set up and spelled out than the other stories, but the writing was still so engaging I didn't really mind. Sleeping Funny is a collection I will hold on to so I can reread its stories in five or ten years. I suppose that counts as a strategy for reading, but I'm okay with that; I can only imagine this will get better with time.

Sleeping Funny
by Miranda Hill
First published in 2012 (cover image shown from Doubleday Canada edition)

24 comments:


  1. we have to purchase new and latest buddha statue or sculpture is available on that Exoticindia art online shooping store. that is very Exclusive online store in sellling artwork.

    Astrology Books
    Books In Hindi
    Art & Architecture Books
    Largest Collection Of Books ayurveda books

    ReplyDelete
  2. We are popular as Florist Service in Gurgaon from last 10 Years, we also offers fresh flowers cakes and latest gifts across Gurgaon. Send flowers online and Offline from flower shop for your loved ones and availlable for corporate gifting with fastest delivery.

    Florist Service in Gurgaon
    Online Florist Services in Gurgaon

    ReplyDelete
  3. I know this sounds a somewhat odd inquiry, yet hold on for me, ideally this article will show you exactly how significant the regularly disregarded part of rest is to your general preparing progress.


    earplugs for sleeping

    ReplyDelete
  4. Looking for a funny gift ideas for your friend, here you should find an item that will surprise and make them laugh for sure. https://supergift.com.my/en/33-funny-gifts

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi!!!
    This is Online Indus
    We provide latest news from Pakistan Check out Education news
    Online Indus

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi!
    This is Mitsoftwaresolution.
    Mit software solution to helping organization.
    Like leading software installation problems, & we are digital transformation exports with all insights you need to thrive we can help you digitally transform the way you work.
    http://mitss.edu.pk/

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi!
    This is Mitsoftwaresolution.
    MIT programming answer for aiding association.
    Like driving programming establishment issue, and we are computerized change sends out with all
    experiences you require to flourish we can assist you with changing the manner in which you work.
    http://mitss.edu.pk/

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi,
    I am MITSoftware Solution
    Is showing interest and enthusiasm for the things we do.

    ReplyDelete
  9. EPOS Technologies Limited is a developer, and seller of POS Software solutions. Our mission is to change the future of POS by offering cutting-edge products, produced in total quality control by our expert team. With passion for technological innovation and customer satisfaction we have won the hearts of numerous customers around the world.
    https://www.epostechnologies.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
  10. Epos Technologies Limited is a leading Point-of-Sale software development company, delivering POS software solutions, services, and training to increase.
    https://www.epostechnologies.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
  11. Epos Technologies Limited is a leading Point-of-Sale software development company, delivering POS software solutions, services, and training to increase.
    https://www.epostechnologies.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
  12. EPOS Technologies Limited is a developer, and seller of POS Software solutions. Our mission is to change the future of POS by offering cutting-edge products, produced in total quality control by our expert team. With passion for technological innovation and customer satisfaction we have won the hearts of numerous customers around the world.
    https://www.epostechnologies.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wonderful goods from you, man. I've understand your stuff previous to and you are just extremely magnificent. I actually like what you've acquired here, certainly like what you are stating and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still take care of to keep it wise. I can't wait to read far more from you. This is really a wonderful web site.
    https://afrifoodnetwork.com/

    ReplyDelete
  14. AfricanFoodNetwork

    Wonderful goods from you, man. I've understand your stuff previous to and you are just extremely magnificent. I actually like what you've acquired here, certainly like what you are stating and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still take care of to keep it wise. I can't wait to read far more from you. This is really a wonderful web site.

    Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a very well written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will definitely return.

    Simply want to say your article is as surprising. The clarity in your post is simply cool and i could assume you are an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission allow me to grab your feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please carry on the enjoyable work.

    Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to more added agreeable from you! However, how could we communicate?

    Hi there, You have done an excellent job. I’ll certainly digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I'm sure they'll be benefited from this web site.

    Wonderful beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your website, how could i subscribe for a blog website? The account helped me a acceptable deal. I had been a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered bright clear concept

    I'm really impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one today..

    Heya i’m for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out much. I hope to give something back and help others like you aided me.

    I was recommended this website by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as no one else know such detailed about my trouble. You're amazing! Thanks!

    Great blog here! Also your site loads up very fast! What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my web site loaded up as fast as yours lol

    Wow, awesome blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is wonderful, as well as the content!

    I’m not sure where you're getting your information, but great topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more. Thanks for wonderful info I was looking for this info for my mission.

    You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be actually something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I'm looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

    I've been browsing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never f
    ound any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all site owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be a lot more useful than ever before.

    ReplyDelete
  15. EPOS Technologies Limited is a developer, and seller of POS Software solutions. Our mission is to change the future of POS by offering cutting-edge products, produced in total quality control by our expert team. With passion for technological innovation and customer satisfaction we have won the hearts of numerous customers around the world.
    https://www.epostechnologies.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
  16. EPOS Technologies Limited is a developer, and seller of POS Software solutions. Our mission is to change the future of POS by offering cutting-edge products, produced in total quality control by our expert team. With passion for technological innovation and customer satisfaction we have won the hearts of numerous customers around the world.
    OnlineOrdering

    ReplyDelete

Real Time Web Analytics
BooksANDBlogs
Powered By Ringsurf