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The First Bad Man

by Miranda July

Cheryl is a single, middle aged woman whose system for living alone is thrown into disarray when the difficult Clee comes to stay. Tragically comic, this original and perceptive novel isn’t for everyone, unsure at the start, I loved it by the end. It made me laugh, cry and feel strangely anxious with its weird yet likeable characters who illustrate our need to connect with others.

Extract

I laughed and she laughed back – not a real laugh but a sarcastic, snorting guffaw that continued for quite a while, getting uglier and uglier until it halted coldly. I blinked, for once grateful that I couldn’t cry, and she pushed past, knocking me a little with her shoulder. My face had an expression of Hey, watch it! It is not okay to ridicule me in my own house, which I have generously opened to you. I’ll let it go this time, but in the future I expect a one-hundred-and eighty- degree turnaround in your behaviour, young lady. But she was dialing her phone so she missed the look.

Parallels

May We Be Forgiven by A M Holmes
  • Me and You and Everyone We Know - the film
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