Monday, March 10, 2008

Review: You Must Be This Happy to Enter by Elizabeth Crane

Today, in January Magazine’s fiction section, contributing editor Diane Leach reviews You Must Be This Happy to Enter by Elizabeth Crane. Says Leach:
I had a mixed reaction to this book. Few writers today are offering stories with titles like “Sally (Featuring: Lollipop the Rainbow Unicorn)” or admitting, in the press materials enclosed with the book, that she wanted to focus on happiness, which, as literary topics go, is not too cool.

Crane’s characters, to borrow Emily Dickinson’s term, are slant. Really, really slant. Take “Betty the Zombie,” a woman bitten by a zombie in a Minnesota Fabrics store. Betty’s zombiedom leads her to begin eating the neighbor’s pets, and in one case, a small child. In an effort to break this disconcerting habit (and not gobble husband Ed), Betty agrees to participate in a reality television show housing troubled women who work intensively with life coaches. Despite her disintegrating body and garbled zombie speech, Betty discovers her inner crafter, works through her zombie issues, and gets her very own reality telelvision show.

The full review is here.

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