In this gorgeously elliptical memoir, the acclaimed author of The Pharmacist’s Mate examines motherhood, childhood, and the unexpected effects of past events and present actions. The mania of early motherhood, the intimacy of marriage, and the quest for healing are raw materials from which critically acclaimed writer Amy Fusselman has wrought her latest work—a daring exploration of the perversities of time.
The same idiosyncratic and inimitable form Fusselman created in the astonishingly original The Pharmacist’s Mate—short, staccato paragraphs, some reading like journal entries—lends intimacy to her reflections and observations. From her experiences with the man she calls ‘my paedophile’ to the more domestic trials of sleep training her infant son or her obsession with a Beastie Boys song, Fusselman moves from one subject to the next with the freeform exuberance of a child at play. Sometimes the topic is abstract and grand, such as her contemplation of what Time is; other times, she focuses on the seemingly trivial and mundane aspects of life. The idea of learning through repetition and the automatic motions of humans are metaphorically represented by the countless figure eights she performed as a child on the ice.
Family is ever present in 8, and Fusselman writes with inclusive tenderness, extending this intimacy to the reader as well. Her efforts to come to terms with the ideas of innocence, aging and the healing power of touch draw the reader in still deeper—the uplifting revelations staying with you long after the last page is turned.