I’ll Tell You in Person: Essays

Chloe Caldwell. Emily Books (Consortium, dist.), $16.95 trade paper (164p) ISBN 978-1-56689-453-1
Caldwell (Women) brings an intelligent, confessional voice to this entertaining collection of personal essays about adolescence and young adulthood. She reports on her youthful hijinks involving fake ads on Craigslist, on drinking and shoplifting, the thrill of getting her driver’s license, her roles in school plays, and hitchhiking in Europe. She writes about the “enormous anxiety” she harbored in her 20s and drifting from one job interview to the next. Earnest self-indulgence lies heavily on these pages, with references to Caldwell’s “gluten-free high horse,” and her own hotness. She points to “making kale chips [and] dentist appointments” as markers of maturity and includes lists of tedious details (“in no particular order, here are some foods I’ve binged on”), which playfully convey her unrepentant self-awareness. Like in her last collection, Legs Get Led Astray, Caldwell writes about her life with warmth, humor, and not a trace of apology—only this time around the stories are tamer. Agent: Chelsea Lindman, Greenburger Associates. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/08/2016
Release date: 10/01/2016
Ebook - 208 pages - 978-1-56689-454-8
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