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Too Much and Not the Mood: Essays
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Published:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2017
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Checked Out
Description

One of Vulture's "25 of the Most Exciting Book Releases for 2017"

One of Nylon's "50 Books We Can't Wait To Read In 2017"An entirely original portrait of a young writer shutting out the din in order to find her own voice

On April 11, 1931, Virginia Woolf ended her entry in A Writer's Diary with the words "too much and not the mood." She was describing how tired she was of correcting her own writing, of the "cramming in and the cutting out" to please other readers, wondering if she had anything at all that was truly worth saying.

The character of that sentiment, the attitude of it, inspired Durga Chew-Bose to write and collect her own work. The result is a lyrical and piercingly insightful collection of essays and her own brand of essay-meets-prose poetry about identity and culture. Inspired by Maggie Nelson's Bluets, Lydia Davis's short prose, and Vivian Gornick's exploration of interior life, Chew-Bose captures the inner restlessness that keeps her always on the brink of creative expression.

Too Much and Not the Mood is a beautiful and surprising exploration of what it means to be a first-generation, creative young woman working today.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
04/11/2017
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780374714680
ASIN:
B01LZUD3LJ
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Durga Chew-Bose. (2017). Too Much and Not the Mood: Essays. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Durga Chew-Bose. 2017. Too Much and Not the Mood: Essays. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Durga Chew-Bose, Too Much and Not the Mood: Essays. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Durga Chew-Bose. Too Much and Not the Mood: Essays. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Updated:
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Too Much and Not the Mood
fullDescription

One of Vulture's "25 of the Most Exciting Book Releases for 2017"

One of Nylon's "50 Books We Can't Wait To Read In 2017"

An entirely original portrait of a young writer shutting out the din in order to find her own voice

On April 11, 1931, Virginia Woolf ended her entry in A Writer's Diary with the words "too much and not the mood." She was describing how tired she was of correcting her own writing, of the "cramming in and the cutting out" to please other readers, wondering if she had anything at all that was truly worth saying.

The character of that sentiment, the attitude of it, inspired Durga Chew-Bose to write and collect her own work. The result is a lyrical and piercingly insightful collection of essays and her own brand of essay-meets-prose poetry about identity and culture. Inspired by Maggie Nelson's Bluets, Lydia Davis's short prose, and Vivian Gornick's exploration of interior life, Chew-Bose captures the inner restlessness that keeps her always on the brink of creative expression.

Too Much and Not the Mood is a beautiful and surprising exploration of what it means to be a first-generation, creative young woman working today.

reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        March 27, 2017
        Twists in language and heady cultural references elevate Chew-Bose’s debut above the recent crop of personal essay collections by young writers. Focusing on the complications of growing up and establishing oneself, the essays explore what it means to be a brown girl in a white world and “the beautiful dilemma of being first-generation” Canadian. The collection reads like a writer’s notebook, mixing the intimacy of a personal journal with formal experiments. Random memories—a dead squirrel in the yard of her childhood home, a past conversation with a friend—lead way to grander topics, such as marriage, death, or “the dicey irreparableness of being.” Chew-Bose maintains an ambitious and inventive style, employing long lists of sensations to describe feelings and using parentheticals to address the reader directly. She is also a veritable dictionary of contemporary culture. Short ruminations on a painting by Swedish painter Karin Mamma Andersson, singer Nina Simone’s “Ain’t Got No,” or journalist John Gregory Dunne’s memoir Monster pop up in the author’s streams of consciousness. Evocative phrases and bold metaphors such as “memory blistering,” “scrapped corner of our imaginations,” and “writing is a closed pistachio shell” color this take on the modern experience.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        March 1, 2017
        A debut collection of personal essays from a Montreal-born writer.Chew-Bose is fascinated by life and especially by her response to it. She loves movies, painting, her skin, her name, the sound of her voice, her heart, and just about anything that occurs to her. Her debut is a work of self-examination and memoir, a young writer's songs of herself. She opens the collection with the ambitious, lengthy "Heart Museum," which begins as a rumination on the physical and emotional durability of the heart and quickly sidetracks into a hyper-referential stream-of-consciousness stroll through every subject that strikes her fancy, from cinematography to old boyfriends to random family memories to writing. Possibly taking her cue from Chris Marker's great documentary Sans Soleil, Chew-Bose seems bent on creating an essay that charts a surprising and compelling course despite having no obvious destination. Instead, it becomes an increasingly fetishistic ramble that flies off on various tangents. "Groping through the dark is, in large part, what writing consists of anyway," she offers at one point, perhaps by way of explanation. "Working through and feeling around the shadows of an idea. Getting pricked. Cursing purity. Threshing out. Scuffing up and peeling away. Feral rearranging. Letting form ferment." The trend toward navel-gazing continues in the subsequent essays, but some also profit from a sharper, more direct focus, especially when the author addresses what it means--as a young woman from an Indian family growing up in mostly white Canada--to come to terms with cultural identity: "Nothing will make you fit in less than trying, constantly, to fit in: portioning your name, straightening your hair, developing a love-hate fascination to white moms whose pantries were stocked differently than yours, who touched your hair, admiring 'how thick' it was." Chew-Bose is an intense observer and cataloger of sensations, but this type of literary impressionism, where self-discovery becomes self-absorption, wears thin.

        COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from March 15, 2017
        Chew-Bose's writings about her journey on the rocky road of assimilation to a self-assured identity as a Canadian-born daughter of Indian immigrants could easily have meandered off into trite and oft-repeated narratives about being brown in North America. But this sharp and astute debut essay collection reveals a young author who is wise beyond her years and whose keen eye moves beyond tired tropes about identity struggles. In the essay Part of a Greater Pattern, a brilliantly eloquent piece about childhood and coming-of-age, Chew-Bose remembers her father's proclivity for assessing, for being moored to logistics. It's a keen insight because what she does in this collection is not far removed from what her parent once did; she too is an expert assessorof moods, of situations, of her own writing, and her relationships. The book's title is taken from one of Virginia Woolf's diary entries, which ended with too much and not the mood, a suggestion that perhaps her writing was trying a little too hard. If that were Chew-Bose's concern, she need not worry. Her ample talent and keenly observed essays will surely win her followers, especially at a time and place when authenticity is a rare and much-valued currency.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

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One of Vulture's "25 of the Most Exciting Book Releases for 2017"

One of Nylon's "50 Books We Can't Wait To Read In 2017"

An entirely original portrait of a young writer shutting out the din in order to find her own voice

On April 11, 1931, Virginia Woolf ended her entry in A Writer's Diary with the words "too much and not the mood." She was describing how tired she was of correcting her own writing, of the "cramming in and the cutting out" to please other readers, wondering if she had anything at all that was truly worth saying.

The character of that sentiment, the attitude of it, inspired Durga Chew-Bose to write and collect her own work. The result is a lyrical and piercingly insightful collection of essays and her own brand of essay-meets-prose poetry about identity and culture. Inspired by Maggie Nelson's Bluets, Lydia Davis's short prose, and Vivian Gornick's exploration of interior life,...

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