Miranda July can write, too.
Miranda July has been a performance artist, made an award-winning film, and had her art appear in two Whitney Biennials. With the story collection No One Belongs Here More Than You
(Scribner), she has tried her hand at fiction, and once you get over resenting her youthful profusion of talents, you will enjoy these angular accounts of people living on the boundaries of sanity, propriety, and emotional survival. A girl falls passionately in love with another girl, can’t have her, and takes a job performing lewd acts in a booth. Or a girl is seduced by a dark shape, a shadow, which eventually takes the form of a teenager named Steve. Or a girl is saved by a Vietnamese kid who finds her frozen in terror outside his parents’ beauty parlor: "The fear hits," she tells us, "about 27 steps away from the house, right around the juniper bush." July’s stories are sexy and fast, magically creating narrative without ever imputing cause and effect. Her characters are a new lost generation, minus Paris and knowledge of one another. They have experienced great pain but don’t have a clue how to talk about it except by way of sudden psychological revelations and mysterious, suggestive symbols, the stuff of an alluring new surrealism.