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Monday, July 15, 2013

Review: Iris Has Free Time by Iris Smyles

Title: Iris Has Free Time
Author: Iris Smyles
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Soft Skull Press
Publish Date: May 14, 2013
Source: I received a copy from the publisher; however, this did not affect my review.

Why You're Reading This Book:
  • You like quirky memoirs.
  • You like short stories.
What's the Story?:

From "Whether passed out drunk at The New Yorker where she's interning, assigning Cliffs Notes when hired to teach humanities at a local college, getting banned from a fleet of Greek Island ferries, or trying to piece together the events of yet another puzzling blackout — "I prefer to call them pink-outs, because I'm a girl"—Iris is never short on misadventures. From quarter-life crisis to the shock of turning thirty, Iris Has Free Time charts a madcap, melancholic course through that curious age—one's twenties—when childhood is over, supposedly."

My Two Cents:

"Iris Has Free Time" is a memoir of sorts of Iris Smyles, who has written for many different magazines. This memoir almost reads like a series of essays and not necessarily a continuous story. That being said, the essays fit rather nicely together. They are not necessarily in sequential order, which jarred me a little bit each time a time change happened and made it a little difficult to stay in the book.

This book was often a little more serious than I had originally expected but also had a couple funny moments that made me laugh. There were also some very keen, insightful bits of writing throughout the book every once in awhile. The book was fairly uneven in some places on the whole though. Some of the essays could have been slimmed down a little bit to leave room for more detail in others. One of my favorite essay/chapters was entitled Autumn in New York in which Iris captures what it's like to be in that city during that magical time of year.

I liked how well Ms. Smyles' stories captured New York City at the turn of the new millennium. These stories are about youth and trying to leave that youth behind when you're in your twenties.


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