The (Female) Picaresque Novel

There’s a great article from the Los Angeles Review of Books about Louise Wareham Leonard’s autobiographical picaresque novel, 52 Men.

Leonard’s book is about the stories we tell other people. We tell these stories precisely because everybody has them: they make people laugh, and they uncover wounds over which we bond. We tell them to get revenge on those who hurt us, and to redeem experiences that pained us. We tell them to brag: somebody wanted us. And we tell them because they’re nostalgic reminders of lovers who were once close to us. But we also tell them for the pure narrative pleasure of it: relationship stories have a natural arc — beginning, middle, denouement, end — and characters we can sketch with a few deft marks. Romance makes writers of us all.

Read “Why Can’t You Be Sweet?” here.

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