Chloe Caldwell has written a “Less Than Zero” for the post-modern set in her most recent collection of essays “I’ll Tell You in Person,” from Coffee House Press and Emily Books. This collection includes a forward that, when I read it, I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue: Caldwell is so brutally frank, in where she turns her gimlet eye, and the searchlight is on herself, as well as on the culture that supports our nihilistic bent, during our more youthful days. I was glad that I continued, as the voices in Caldwell’s head are echoes of those voices in others’, as we question the whys and wherefores of modern life.
This book is tailor-made for straphangers, as the essays are quick reads, even as they continue to percolate in your thoughts for long afterward. Favorites of mine include “Failing Singing,” which brings into question how and why we drift from the things that bring us joy; “Hungry Ghost,” addressing the inner child that some deny and others embrace; and “Maggie and Me: A Love Story,” where Caldwell opens her heart, in nearly surgical fashion, to describe the humanity and huge soul of someone whose influence will always be with her.
Available in bookstores and online October 4, this is a great gift for that edgy iconoclast in your life—or the person who may want a glimpse inside another world. Buy your copy today…I’m not loaning you mine. I know that, if I do, I’ll never get it back …