“So there we sit, a fractured family temporarily fused in the confines of Lela’s Honda with no idea how to be mended, what shape it is we’re supposed to take, or whether we even want to try.” (198)
“Norm is one of those Jews who only embrace their Judaism when it can be done heroically in the face of anti-Semitism. He gazes at the building suspiciously, envisioning all manner of Aryan rituals and high-level racist meetings taking place behind closed doors in plush conference rooms.” (224)
“I hate that he’s right, that after all these years, he just stepped back in and called it so accurately. How can someone so obtuse be so sharp?” (145)
“When he finally figured it out, he took it pretty hard. So where I contented myself, at least outwardly, with writing Norm off and cultivating a quiet, simmering bitterness over the long term, Matt when straight to an unmitigated hatred that never seemed to wane, just like, as a child, he’d continue to cry passionately, long after he’d forgotten why he was crying to begin with.” (86)
“I am cancer free, and that’s great news, but what Jed would never understand is that the cancer-or rather, the threat of it-was like a free pass to initiate drastic change. No one questions the actions of someone with cancer. It’s like diplomatic immunity. While I was worried about it, I became a more daring version of myself. I told my boss to fuck off. I got into a fistfight. I kissed the girl. I’m relieved beyond measure to be healthy, but I could have used the threat of it for a little while longer. Now I’m left here wondering what my excuse will be.” (241)
these would be the “family parts” that i pulled from the book. i think the reason that i’ve been so receptive to joe tropper‘s books right now, as opposed to last year, when i read two back to back and was not charmed by the similar themes, is that i’m particularly receptive to the narrative of the loser fucking up and coming back to redeem himself. that’s at least 50% in part because i date the loser, and half in part because i am the loser. i’m not clear on whether or not the fairytale is that everyone ends up together, or that they deserve to be together.
either way-losers win and winners lose, family is there for every step of it all, and that’s what makes tropper‘s body of work reality tales. my favourite is the way that he fleshes out the middle(s).