‘Ducks, Newburyport’ by Lucy Ellmann

Jon Day at the LRB:

Lucy Ellmann’s new novel, Ducks, Newburyport, does not, despite the claims of some reviewers, consist of a single sentence (I counted 880). But it does contain one very long one: a comma-strewn stream that follows the thoughts of an Ohioan housewife during the first few months of 2017. While she bakes the pies she sells to local diners she worries about her four children, considers language usage (the difference between ‘envy’ and ‘jealousy’ and ‘affect’ and ‘effect’; the misuse of ‘enormity’), thinks lovingly about her husband, Leo, mourns her dead parents, and despairs over the state of the environment, Trump’s presidency, mass shootings, and the historic genocides of indigenous people. ‘A lot of people think all I think about is pie,’ she thinks, ‘when really it’s my spinal brain doing most of the peeling and caramelising and baking and flipping, while I just stand there spiralling into a panic about my mom and animal extinctions and the Second Amendment just like everybody else.’

more here.