“Why can’t I live right now. Because I am not rich, I am not a saint. But I do know this: not all of us were sent here to work.”
The first published novel of legendary poet and performer Eileen Myles follows a queer female growing up in working-class Boston, straining against the institutions that hold her: family, Catholic school, jobs at a camp, at a nursing home, at a school for developmentally disabled adult males. Free-ranging and deadpan, tragic and joyful, this is a book about women, gender, class, bodies, escape, and what it means to be “inside.”
Never more relevant, and now with an introduction by Chris Kraus.
Myles has an exquisite sense of the borderline, where people hide or are transformed according to luck and will . . . Most important, though, is her understanding of more abstract institutions, especially the family.
Her work is hard to describe, best encountered on its own terms; suffice to say it combines frankness and beauty in a truly original way.
A cult figure to a generation of young, post-punk female[s] forming a new literary avant-garde.
Myles is a big deal, a rock star, sort of like the Patti Smith of contemporary poetry . . . [she] is relentlessly casual, and even joyful.
Seventeen years after its first publication, [Cool for You] feels just as radical, startling, and daringly alive as when it first came out.
Cool for You is touching, funny, and original, featuring strange, beautiful images of the ordinary world.
Intense and wickedly insightful!
One of the savviest voices and most restless intellects in contemporary lit.
The reissue, after 17 years, creates a strange sort of time vortex, a double-lens of perspective, in which Myles is looking back on the self that wrote the book, who is in turn looking back on the self in the story.
The rock star of modern poetry.