Not necessarily doing 52 in 52 again this year, but this is the first book I’ve finished since July 1:
Pretty excellent. Gaitskill’s characters are psychologically complex and realistic. She pays more attention to her characters’ emotions, motives, and interpersonal nuances than most of us pay to our own. In a non-judging way, each story gets at the raw underbelly of humanity and human relationships — the cruel things we do to each other and to ourselves, from not believing ourselves worthy of good things to full-on assault.
Read this if: You’re okay with awkwardness and want to explore it, you like realism and emotions, you find the interactions between people complex and tenuous, and/or you are curious about what shapes people. Don’t read this if: you’re uncomfortable with breaches of social mores (esp. sexual), you like nice, tidy endings, or you ever said something like “I just don’t understand why they had to put that violent part in; it would have been such a nice story without it,” wrt something like, say, The Kite Runner.