Offill somehow manages to pack the sprawling story of an ordinary marriage, both the good bits and the bad — courtship, arguments, colicky baby, lice, affairs, bedbugs — into a small, poetic book. Rendered entirely in a series of staccato vignettes, Dept. of Speculation is told from the point of view of the bookish, funny wife. She quotes Dickinson, Kafka, and Yeats and likes to draw quirky historical comparisons — ancient tribal cultures, doomed Russian cosmonauts — with her domestic life as, over the years, her dreams and ambitions slowly erode. Lying down and exhausted by her screaming infant daughter, she describes a sleep-deprivation study about cats, then mutters, ”If I knew telekinesis, I would send this spoon over to feed that baby.” Yes, there’s joylessness here, but there’s also real joy. A-
Dept. of SpeculationOffill somehow manages to pack the sprawling story of an ordinary marriage, both the good bits and the bad — courtship, arguments, colicky baby,...Dept. of SpeculationFictionJenny OffillOffill somehow manages to pack the sprawling story of an ordinary marriage, both the good bits and the bad — courtship, arguments, colicky baby,...2014-02-07Knopf
DEPT. OF SPECULATION Jenny Offill
Genre: Fiction; Author: Jenny Offill; Publisher: Knopf
Posted January 17 2015 — 5:04 PM EST
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