Bingo square – REC’D – I would recommend this book
For some reason when I think of Maggie Shipstead’s short story collection You Have a Friend in 10A I think of the Zombies’ song, “She’s Not There”.
Well, no one told me about her, the way she lied
Well, no one told me about her, how many people cried
But it’s too late to say you’re sorry
How would I know, why should I care?
Please don’t bother tryin’ to find her
She’s not there
Shipstead’s stories often have protagonists that are slightly disassociated, both from themselves and their surroundings. In the title story, the main character is a faded Hollywood starlet, most famous now for her public breakup with a major actor who is also in a Scientology-like cult. She wants to reconnect with the world but doesn’t seem to be able to find a way to do it.
One of my favorite stories in the book is “La Moretta,” which follows a young couple on their honeymoon in 1974. Both the characters are looking for something that they hoped they would find in the other person, but the circumstances they end up in bring to light truths about themselves that they can’t deny. Another story, “Backcountry”, has a main character that seems to be avoiding her own life by bouncing around from place to place, only to end up with a lost boyfriend in the middle of a snow storm.
Short stories to me are a great way to get to know an author. I have been meaning to read The Great Circle, Maggie Shipstead’s bestselling novel for while. Reading this short story collection that she wrote over the span of 10 years prior to the novel has definitely gotten me excited about starting it.