I’ve finished Karen Joy Fowler’s We Are All Completely Beside OurselvesThe story brings home one of the reasons we read fiction: because there is more of a chance of grasping the truth of a situation through fiction than through facts because when we read fiction, we tend to put ourselves in the shoes of the people we’re reading about, and because fiction deals with emotion plus facts. I don’t want to be the one to tell you, but facts are changeable and we are fooling ourselves if we think there is one single answer to anything. Ms Fowler’s “empathy, compassion, loyalty, and love. That needs to be recognized” shows through in her own words. Please read this novel, even if you don’t think you’d agree with the premise. Ms Fowler shows the world from many different perspectives.


Sobbing and Sobbing

Today’s post is dedicated to the DAPL protesters. I thank you for your service.

It just so happened that I read Part Four of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves on the same day the DAPL protesters were trapped on a bridge. Thank you, Karen Joy Fowler, for giving me words: I am completely beside myself.


Lovely Ballet

Something Karen Joy Fowler does beautifully in We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves  is to seamlessly juxtapose what her characters think they are, with what they are, with what others think they are. As I’m reading, I’ve been struck over and over with the thought that we’ve all been there. Yes, this is what life is like.

The musical accompaniment is not a ballet, but a waltz, from not a ballet but an opera, based on a novel which we still remember because of how its written words came alive in dance, voice, and orchestral music. Yes, this is what life is like.


Completely Bogus

Karen Joy Fowler has me living inside her novel We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves. I can picture myself sitting in the rooms she has sketched with words, and contemplating the alternate (or is it the actual?) realities depicted in the Kafka quote she has chosen.  Today’s illustration includes the Kafka quote, a quote from Part 2, and a visual that alludes to a third quote in that section. If you read the novel, you’ll be on a treasure hunt to see if you see the story the same as I depict it.


Blind Luck

Once again, and also by accident, I’m reading two novels simultaneously. The new one is We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler. It caught me by the heart and wouldn’t let go and I read far too much of it one day so, rather than illustrate a bit from the pages I read the day before, I’m going to approach this novel by Parts. There are six parts, so I’ll draw a sketch for each Part.

I am loving this book as much for what it says, as for what it doesn’t say. I’ve never read Karen Joy Fowler before, but I will be looking for her other books.


I’ve been forgetting about musical accompaniment for which I apologize. Today’s musical accompaniment is Depeche Mode, World in My Eyes.