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Weather by Jenny Offill

Weather (edition 2020)

by Jenny Offill (Author)

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3533351,694 (3.69)46
"Lizzie Benson slid into her job as a librarian without a traditional degree. But this gives her a vantage point from which to practice her other calling: she is a fake shrink. For years, she has tended to her God-haunted mother and her recovering addict brother. They have both stabilized for the moment, but Lizzie has little chance to spend her new free time with husband and son before her old mentor, Sylvia Liller, makes a proposal. She's become famous for her prescient podcast, Hell and High Water, and wants to hire Lizzie to answer the mail she receives: from left-wingers worried about climate change and right wingers worried about the decline of western civilization. As Lizzie dives into this polarized world, she begins to wonder what it means to keep tending your own garden once you've seen the flames beyond its walls. When her brother becomes a father and Sylvia a recluse, Lizzie is forced to address the limits of her own experience--but still she tries to save everyone, using everything she's learned about empathy and despair, conscience and collusion, from her years of wandering the library stacks . . . And all the while the voices of the city keep floating in--funny, disturbing, and increasingly mad"--… (more)
Authors:Jenny Offill (Author)
Info:Granta (2020), Edition: 01, 224 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:American, female, fiction, 21st century, 2020s

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Weather by Jenny Offill



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» See also 46 mentions

English (31)  Dutch (1)  All languages (32)
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
Is everything getting worse? The whole earth’s climate is becoming increasingly inhospitable. For the narrator of this novel, her husband, Ben, and their young son, Eli, even the political environment is becoming inhospitable. There may be heavy weather ahead. In such climes, it’s really a question of survival. But what does it mean to survive? Fortunately, the narrator’s gentle, ironic take on her own life and what we used to call “events” is a refreshing tonic, perhaps the only tonic available for those of us who share her otherwise wholly rational anxieties.

A year, more or less, ensues. There is work, friendship, family, responsibility, and fair share of love, I think. If you are planning ahead for your “doomstead” you’ll want to ensure that everyone in your group has essential skills. And knowing how to tell a gently funny story is definitely essential for me.

Although a slim volume, Weather is not slight, which may explain why people are talking about the weather all the time.

Easily recommended. ( )
  RandyMetcalfe | Jul 7, 2020 |
Very much pre-apocalyptic in tone in this set of word sketches the just functioning feral librarian (in this book, some one with out formal training as a librarian who works at a library) gets comfort from her son and husband, but is enmeshed with her dis-functional and everywhere is the feeling that all is at the edge of the precipice. Rather more real in it's non-normative narrative form than I completely enjoy. ( )
  quondame | Jul 6, 2020 |
A librarian gradually comes to question her role in her family and the world, as her caregiving for her addict brother, her husband, and her son is gradually replaced by her obsessive concerns with climate change and political upheaval. Told only in her point of view in short paragraphs which are like diary entries in their brevity, clarity, and candor, the reader sees her gradually imperil her relationship with her family and become a bit mad. ( )
  rglossne | Jul 1, 2020 |
This is the 2nd book I have read by Jenny Offill. It is written in a style that might not be for everyone. It is done in a series of fragments, short little paragraphs, like tweets or short emails. There is a stream of consciousness to it. LIzzie the protagonist is a librarian in Brooklyn with a husband, a young child, an addicted brother, a religious mother and other assorted characters in her life. The book takes place before and after Trump's election. This and climate change among other things is the back drop for her observations about life and those around her. Her relationship to her brother and trying to help him is a driving force of the book, along with her marriage and her constant questioning of her life choices. In addition to being a librarian she is engaged with assisting a famous friend in responding to emails that her friend gets about her podcasts on climate changes. The net result is a short 200 page book that touches on lots of topics in a style that I appreciate and with humor and seriousness together. Try this book and if you like it then read her last book "Department of Speculation" which has the same style and feel. ( )
  nivramkoorb | Jun 25, 2020 |
Too elliptical and about too many things that all felt a bit underdeveloped and slapdash. But, what gorgeous sentences. It was a thrill to read them line by line, I just wish they had cohered into something more developed, substantial. ( )
  Aaron.Cohen | May 28, 2020 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jenny Offillprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gall, JohnCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gray318Cover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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