How To Be True

The Philadelphia Review of Books

index

by Tom McAllister

This is a story about a brother and sister.

This phrase acts as a refrain throughout Let The Dark Flower Blossom, Norah Labiner’s densely layered, self-reflexive novel that is about much more than just a brother and sister. The siblings are complex and troubled and each is in a state of personal crisis, but the most compelling thread is the book’s investigation of stories themselves: how they work, why we need them, and what it means to have your story stolen.

Although the characters seem unaware of the existence of modern technology—they exclusively use typewriters, for example, and communicate via letter and postcard—they all confront, on a smaller-scale, questions that are central to the digital age, specifically those about how to shape our public identities and who owns our personal information. In an era in which we have been reduced by algorithms and search engines to…

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~ by Shauna Osborn on August 8, 2013.

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