by Claire-Louise Bennett
from the May 30, 2022 issue of The New Yorker
Claire-Louise Bennett made waves when her debut novel (or, as I understand, something that might be a novel) Pond came out in 2015, and her follow-up, Checkout 19, came out a couple of months ago to more acclaim. Ever since Pond came out I’ve wanted to get my hands on it and read it, so I’m glad that she’s got “Invisible Bird” in The New Yorker this week so I can dip my toe in!
Here is how it starts:
After finishing my degree I would have liked to have stayed on in London. Despite owing considerable arrears on my rent I somehow assumed that I could carry on living in my high-ceilinged bedsit near the common for as long as I liked. I’d done a lot of work in the garden, two gardens really—the landlords owned two semis at the top of a smart tree-lined avenue. The semis were next to each other, but separate, joined to other houses, though the gardens at the back were side by side with no boundary between them, so it was quite admissible to think of them as a single sprawling entity. Especially when you were down there, hauling cables of bindweed that began in one corner and tapered off many solid yards later in the shady depths of another.
No idea what kind of story this is starting! And I’m excited by that!
Please feel free to leave your thoughts and comments below.