Up Up Up heralds the arrival of a writer of astonishing range, compassion, and acuity. In this stunning short story collection, Julie Booker grabs the reins from writers like Lydia Millet and Miranda July and takes off at full speed, and in directions all her own.
A pair of plus-sized friends make tracks for a kayaking trip in Alaska. A woman vacations with her parents at a Texas trailer park, wondering why she can’t meet a man. A worldly member of a tour group selects sacrifices from among the most cherished belongings of her fellow travellers. A young man dreams of rescuing an abusive friend’s girlfriend -- and of having her for himself...
Through these deceptively simple storylines, Booker reminds us of the power of words to enlighten and move us -- but most of all, to delight us. Her writing is a revelation -- wildly whimsical and yet razorsharp, highly unusual and yet prompting gasps of recognition on every page. Reader, prepare to meet your new favourite writer.
Booker infuses her stories with humour, accessible prose, and familiar characters, but a reader should be careful of complacency: theses are challenging stories that demand attention, engagement, and re-reading to be properly appreciate . . . Up Up Up doesn't read like a debut: this is a writer who has clearly been honing her craft for quite some time.
. . . satisfying and thought-provoking.
[Julie Booker] touches on some difficult subjects, like abuse and the navigation of relationships, but the overall mood is humorous and fun.
. . . sparse, exacting prose, staccato sentences, and whimsical plot lines . . . after reading Booker’s stories, there’s a sense you’ve just discussed something important, and it’s okay to leave with a smile on your face.
[Julie] Booker's perspective is dishearteningly real, and for this reason all the more important and refreshing.
With Up Up Up, Julie Booker has served up a first book that’s hilarious and heartbreaking, merry and sombre. It’s an irresistible mix.
Up Up Up is a stunning, fresh debut collection from an author who is worth watching.