Elizabeth Crane’s stories reminded me that writing could – and should – be fun. A fan of George Saunders, her work wears her influences clearly but is its own thing too. ‘My Life Is Awesome! And Great!’ is as good an introduction to her as anything: five-and-a-bit pages of exclamatory, hyperactive enthusiasm:
You would love my life too if you had it, but you don’t, because I do! Am not trying to say that I don’t ever cry! Who could say that? No-one but a very repressed person! That is why I would never say that!
Elizabeth Crane is one those authors whose books I buy – unsolicited – for others. ‘Here!’ I say to friends. ‘Read this! And then understand why it is that I am saying this to you in this way! You’ll thank me later!’ As the narrator herself puts it. ‘This is the truth! Believe it!’
From You Must Be This Happy to Enter, Akashic Press, 2008