The Gift

The Gift Praise for Barbara Browning A provocative novel that blurs the boundaries between life and performance dance art and viral video Slate Deftly blending highbrow intellectual concerns with the inform

  • Title: The Gift
  • Author: Barbara Browning
  • ISBN: 9781566894685
  • Page: 436
  • Format: Paperback
  • Praise for Barbara Browning A provocative novel that blurs the boundaries between life and performance, dance, art, and viral video Slate Deftly blending highbrow intellectual concerns with the informality of Facebook era communiqu s, Browning s newest is as entertaining as it is thought provoking Publishers Weekly, starred reviewIn the midst of Occupy, BarbaraPraise for Barbara Browning A provocative novel that blurs the boundaries between life and performance, dance, art, and viral video Slate Deftly blending highbrow intellectual concerns with the informality of Facebook era communiqu s, Browning s newest is as entertaining as it is thought provoking Publishers Weekly, starred reviewIn the midst of Occupy, Barbara Andersen begins spamming people indiscriminately with ukulele covers of sentimental songs A series of inappropriate intimacies ensues, including an erotically charged correspondence and then collaboration with an extraordinarily gifted and troubled musician living in Germany.Barbara Browning teaches in the Department of Performance Studies at the Tisch School of the Arts, NYU She received her PhD in Comparative Literature from Yale University She is the author of the novels The Correspondence Artist winner of a Lambda Literary Award and I m Trying to Reach You short listed for The Believer Book Award She also makes dances, poems, and ukulele cover tunes.

    One thought on “The Gift”

    1. loved it. smart, vulnerable. riding a razor's edge between perfect exhibition/revelation and self-absorbed or too insular (as autofiction might tend to do), and also between friendly accessible and not afflicting-the-comforts of the reader enough. yet it's all done offhandedly, in a way where the risk seems almost casual and the dazzling results seems natural. and, also, you're welcome : made a playlist of most of the songs mentioned. (not entirely comprehensive as i did it a bit haphazardly whi [...]

    2. As a novel, I am not sure it works, but as a text, I enjoyed a lot of observations/topics discussed in this.

    3. At first I thought it's crazy. Then it was ok. Then it was again crazy.Somewhere on the first pages the author wrote something like: I love doing something but ot doesn't mean that I'm good at it. So writing a book wasn't something that she is good at. But, fortunately, it was only my first impression and this book is an rare occasion when first imoressions are wrong. Of course, I'm not keen on modern problems raised in the book, such as, for exaple, gender problems. I think they are overpriced [...]

    4. loved this book so so much. things i loved:art as collaborationgift economy vs creative giftsdisability, pain, language, music emailing something in the smallest file size bc you don't want to bother them with a large filestrangely intimate internet friendshipserotic of hands - digits/"the digital" learning abt postmodern dance and the idea that "dance is for everyone"spam art"all love is autistic" very careful yet shifting/complicated delineation between the real, the fictional, & the imagi [...]

    5. This book annoyed me. And not because of the basic topic, which involves a lot of modern relationships that exist primarily through the digital space and sort weird intersection of modern art with a lot of these communications, but just how odd it was. The book is listed as fiction, but I'm convinced it's not, and if it is, it's *heavily* informed by real events, and the narrative doesn't really try to give any real sort of descriptive structure to it. It's a book about feelings and relationship [...]

    6. Barbara Browning writes: Maybe you're thinking I should take everything my friend Lun-Yu tells me with a grain of salt. She also told me that day one of her favorite psychoanalytic theorists was Wilfred Bion. I'd never read Bion before, so after she left I read a bit about him, and I found online the complete text of a seminar he held in Paris in 1978. The beginning of this seminar is very interesting. At least it was to me. Bion says that he wants his listeners to imagine a scenario: they're se [...]

    7. To call this book "unlike any other I've ever read" might seem hyperbolic, but it's true. First, there's the narrator's tone, which comes across as guileless and shrewd, but also a little daft. (At times, she seems to be reporting quite simply what happened when she engaged in intimate correspondences with strangers online, and also what was happening in her own life at the same time. Some of this narrative is analyzed while she writes it, for example, she will write for pages about a piece of p [...]

    8. "Don't write about your life - it's not interesting, I promise," is an adage that's been rephrased by varying authors a thousand times over. Merging real life with imagined life makes perfect sense to me, but I found myself wishing the author would lean further in one direction or another over the course of reading the book. As the Slate reviewer said, the book blurs boundaries between art forms, between reality and Browning's particular definition of "fiction", storytelling with what might be t [...]

    9. I had a hard time getting into this book because I couldn't see it as more than a kind of pedestrian exploration of art making and art. The thing that made it worth finishing was reaching the point in the fictional art making where fictional Barbara realizes that the book she thought she was writing was not to be and that she had no control over the story. There's this beautiful unfolding that happens then that makes this a story not about art on its own but about people and artists. How real ar [...]

    10. Browning explored some interesting concepts here--technology and human connections, the social exchanges of giving and owing things to each other. My central problem is that I didn't find Browning as narrator and as a character in the novel especially compelling: the way she provokes and moves and observes the reactions and actions of her friends/characters. I'm also not sure if or how the book would work as a third-person piece, or as something more detached. The experimentation and the corresp [...]

    11. A strange, wonderful, messy novel. Browning cuts herself open for us and I think that's the real "gift" of this book. It is a bit more high-minded than I usually go for, however, and I think I will need to reread it at some point in the future so as to truly understand it.

    12. Barbara Browning's The Gift is the rambling, autofictional, intellectual novel about dancing, connecting, sex, gender, and disability of the year. A pleasure to behold on every single page.

    13. quirky and serious, stream of conscious and measured, social critique and performance art - I really enjoyed it!

    14. I wasn't as into this as I'm trying to reach you, but it was still really thoughtful and empathetic, as I've come to expect!

    15. Mischievous, highly evolved, and tenderly executed, Barbara Browning's The Gift lives up to its title. The year is 2011, and Occupy Wall Street has ignited a nascent optimism about the valuable work to be done at the crossroads of art and activism. In this context, Browning's fictionalized surrogate Barbara Anderson embarks on a project of "inappropriate intimacy" in the form of spamming strangers on the Internet with lo-fi ukulele covers of sentimental songs. One of these strangers is Sami, an [...]

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