A story about a 14-year-old girl and her experience with identity, fitting in, self-actualization, and self-mutilation. She has a very vivid imagination that flummoxes the adults in her life. She’s a sensitive soul, a witty banterer, and a lover of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
My favorite thing about being in the hospital is that I get to wear pajamas all day. My second favorite thing is that they can’t quite figure out what’s wrong with me. I’m much more mysterious in here than I ever was in my former, clothes-wearing, high-school-student life. Back there, in the Hell-Mouth, cool kids ignoring un-cool kids is de rigueur. I was unfortunately even less cool than un-cool. I got lucky if someone called me a “witch,” the more subversive and slightly more compelling version of “weird-o.” It was nice to be marked as un-invisible every now and then.
The Memory Wall by Anthony Doerr.
These stories are delightful and sad and human. I saw him read a few years ago at the Tin House Writer’s Workshop in Portland, Oregon. His words are luminous. This particular collection has a lot to do memory (as the title suggests). Are our memories what make us human? Are they more? Are they less?
Here is the NY Times review of this lovely book.