It’s not that she’s unhappy, per se. It’s just that she’s not exactly happy either.
She hasn’t done anything spontaneous since about 2003. Shouldn’t she be running a start up? Going backpacking? Exploring uncharted erogenous zones with inappropriate men?
Trapped between news of her mother’s latent sexual awakening and her spinster aunt’s odd behaviour, Julia has finally snapped. It’s time to take some risks, and get a life.
After all – what has she got to lose?
Title: Losing It
Author: Emma Rathbone
Published By: Mira
Date: Oct 6th 2016
A Few Words from Emma
When I was in graduate school for creative writing and would turn in short stories for review, there was usually a consensus from my classmates – something like: the writing is good but the plot needs to be worked out. Or, it lags in certain places. Or, stop having characters that are obsessed with Native American crafts because it doesn’t add anything or make any sense. Most of the time I knew what they were talking about, and it’s sort of a relief to have your readers confirm what you already suspect. It means you can assess your work. You know what people are going to say, for better or for worse.
With this book, Losing It, my second, I’m proud and delighted to say that the critical response has been pretty positive, with accolades from women’s magazines and newspapers. Though, interestingly, the reaction from readers on Goodreads and Amazon hasn’t lined up with that.
Turns out that not everyone thinks a neurotic, ruminative reflection on loneliness constitutes a fun summer romp!
What’s most interesting is the wide range of responses. Some people do seem to think it’s a light read. Some think it’s a lot darker than that. Some people say it’s boring. Some people say they couldn’t put it down and read it in one sitting. Some say it’s good at the beginning and then trails off at the end. Some say it’s slow to start and then picks up as it goes. There just doesn’t seem to be a general agreement about what the book actually is.
I wonder, perhaps, whether the answer lies in the title. For a while, the working title was “Landlocked Bodies” from a Jorie Graham poem I really like. But then I realised that sounded like a graduate thesis on gender semiotics, or like homework; not something I would necessarily pick up myself. So I went with Losing It, which is catchier, but it does convey a lighthearted feel that isn’t necessarily present in a lot of the book, and I think there is something to be said for meeting expectations.
I think I’ll continue reading these reactions and trying to see if any shape emerges. Maybe one day, looking back, I’ll be able to see everything from the outside, and the array of responses will correlate in a way that seems to make sense.
When I set out to write Losing It, I remember that I wanted to write a book that takes place over the course of a lurching summer, and that was dark and funny and strange. In that much, I can be sure I succeeded!
Book Angel x
About the Author
Emma Rathbone is the author of the novel . She is the recipient of a Christopher Isherwood Grant in Fiction, and her work can also be seen in the , the , and the . She is also a writer for the upcoming Netflix comedy, G.L.O.W. She lives in Los Angeles.
Social links:@HQStories @EmmaRathbone #LosingIt