Monday, October 22, 2012
Rec. #266: All About Emily
What: In this fast romp of a novella, Connie Willis demonstrates, once again, her adeptness at taking samples from every depth of pop culture (from All About Eve and Isaac Asimov to the Rockettes), submerging those fragments in thought exercises on free will and identity, and then sprinkling them with snow and sending them on their merry way.
Comparable to: All About Emily fits nicely alongside Willis's other celebrated short(er) fiction, like "The Last of the Winnebagos" and "Inside Job."
Opening lines: "All right, so you're probably wondering how I, Claire Havilland --- three-time Tony winner, Broadway legend, and star of Only Human --- ended up here, standing outside Radio City Music Hall in a freezing rain two days before Christmas, soaked to the skin and on the verge of pneumonia, accosting harmless passersby."
You might not like it if: You are familiar enough with Willis's work to know that she writes both comedies and tragedies and you can't always tell which is which until someone dies, and you can't bring yourself to take that risk right now. (Hint of Reassurance: This is a comedy . . . mainly.)
How to get it: Your best bets are getting it from your library or downloading it to your Kindle.
Connections to previous Wreckage: Enjoy more Connie Willis with To Say Nothing of the Dog (Rec. #100), Blackout/All Clear (Gift Idea #1), Bellwether (Rec. #218), and Lincoln's Dreams (Rec. #248). Not all of them are comedies.