Pretty Well Proportional Post on Timothy Willis Sanders’s “Orange Juice”

This book is good. It’s a collection of short stories written in something like the same minimalist style as Zachary German’s Eat When You Feel Sad, but not as strictly maintained. That’s mostly a loss, I think, because with this type of minimalism strictness is kind of the point. But Orange Juice makes up for it by catching lots of familiar, mundane details—spilling a bottle of Pepto Bismol, lying to a homeless person about having cash, getting Facebook invites from people you haven’t seen in ten years who live in other states—that would normally be lost to fiction for the sake of tired concepts like plot or drama.

It also has the advantage over EWYFS of the shorter format, which lends itself to this kind of slice-of-life writing, with less of the temptation to create artificial tension/significance in order to hold a reader over 100-plus pages. Mostly this book is about what doesn’t happen, catching the characters in stretches of vague anxiety about little things and abandoning them before the anxiety is resolved, as if to say, “It doesn’t matter how this turns out; one petty anxiety will just be replaced by another.”

It’s not so earth-shaking, not radically new, but it is really true and convincing and, because of that, very easy to like.