Review: A Selfie as Big as the Ritz

by Lara Williams (Flatiron Books, 2017)
(First published as TREATS, Freight Books, UK 2016)

There's much to love in this assemblage of short- to micro-fiction vignettes. Twenty-something love, solitude, and places in-between are rendered with a variety of characters and points-of-view. British author Lara Williams strikes a humorous and effervescent tone that runs through even the darkest emotional moments. So many sentences stand alone as energetic pirouettes of language, emotions, images. "She hadn't yet realized that in a relationship, honesty was just one of many options, a sort of moral high ground, yes, but no more so than vegetarianism or recycling. And she was both a vegetarian and a recycler." A Selfie as Big as the Ritz is so much more than a selfie; this collection braids inner streams of conscious moments and emotions with shimmering leaps of setting and imagination. First published in the UK as Treats, the book was shortlisted for the Edinburgh Festival First Book Award in 2016. Definitely a treat, a romp! Reading this is the literary equivalent of savoring an entire indie film fest on a rainy weekend.

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Karen Lewis