July 30, 2007
MarkBernstein.org
 

How To Breathe Underwater

How To Breathe Underwater
Julie Orringer

(order)

(July 30, 2007)

Graceful, honest, and intelligent stories about young women. In "The Smoothest Way is Full Of Stones" -- the title is a Yiddish proverb -- a Brooklyn girl who is sent to live with her Orthodox cousins while her mother convalesces. Her cousin finds a dirty book, hidden by an Orthodox boy, and this becomes their infinitely-divisive shared secret. It's a wonderful story. So is the meeting of a fat young artist and her supermodel cousin in "When She Is Old And I Am Famous", a story in which the title says everything that needs to be said, but the saying of it is so elegant we are delighted to watch it unfold.