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We So Seldom Look on Love: Stories. Barbara Gowdy, Author HarperCollins Publishers $20 (0p) ISBN Hailed as a remarkable collection of short stories when it was first released in , We So Seldom Look on Love is Barbara Gowdy’s wholly original and pow.. . A young, beautiful, female necrophile, obsessed with the moment that life turns to death, begins an intense relationship with a medical student that inevitab.

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And the saving grace of it all really loce the compassion and empathy infused in Gowdy’s writing For instance, the story that is the most obviously outrageous is the eponymous story, which is the confession of a self-diagnosed “necrophile.

To be loved, to give love! But the truth they’ve invented is bizarre, brilliant, and easy to believe. But others will see these stories for what they are: But it is as if we gawkers are only allowed to look if we promise to try to imagine how these people in the tents think and feel.

This is what I was going on and on about in the gowdu of my review – how people ARE different. Strangely enough, I think this short story collection agrees with me. The title story deals with necrophilia, and was made into a movie called Kissed. Body and Soul, Challenges the sanity of an elderly grandmother Aunt Bea in foster home for young girls; we meet Julie epileptic seizure; waiting for mommy in jail as a barvara to Terry Penny who is bald, blind and has a damaging birthmark and later Angela missing both arms: Contents Body and Lpok l.

Books by Barbara Gowdy.

Many of the seodom DO depict the characters attempting to escape their abnormality or other characters coming to accept the abnormal one’s abnormality as just one aspect of an otherwise complete individual. Why in God’s name would you seek to prevent such a person from marrying their loved one? Who wants to be the same as others?

We so seldom look on love: stories – Barbara Gowdy – Google Books

The corpse-fuckers and the bored exhibitionists and the conjoined twins and the God-fearing girls who can levitate, where would they be without writers like Barbara Gowdy? May 12, Erik rated it liked it Shelves: Delving gkwdy the heart of all the characters and being shown unexplored perspectives, from the conjoined twins to the woman married to a trans-man, is an experience that won’t be leaving my head anytime soon. I don’t get my kicks from this, but her writing There is little point in repeating what every other reviewer has said, that Gowdy is brilliant and her subject matter twisted but fascinating.


Gowdy has a beautiful writing style. Sep 25, Rowena rated it it was amazing Shelves: They hit upon a very basic fear or insecurity barnara exists in everyone, I think, and they exploit that feeling in all of us and ask us to wonder what it is and why it’s there. She forces you to look and then tenderly and humorously makes them human for you as if they were your next-door neighbour or, even, you.

I also found that each story was better than the last one. Even on a second reading, I was t I first read this book many, many moons gody. They would gowddy like two happily married, perfectly normal people. This book deals with abhorrent topics such as necrophilia in a manner that elicits compassion for the characters and the world at large which deals with such loove.

We So Seldom Look on Love

They are all about people who have an oddness about them – a conjoined twin bit attached, an extra big head, deformities of all kinds and degrees of hardships. And they’re Gowdy’s own: To some degree this is the real genius of this collection, how it reveals that – necrophiliac or two-headed or blind or completely normal – we all really want the same thing don’t we? This collection of short stories blew me away. Every story showed the world going on and on and on in the same vein, over and over, in a never-ending cycle that takes you nowhere.

Defs give this one a chance if you have an iron stomach. Like her novels, we see her championing the misfits and outcasts and explore their worlds in an honest and sympathetic fashion. They would seem content, she thinks.

You’re right back where you started. We so seldom look on love: But there are instances – as with the mentally challenged little girl in “Body and Soul” drilling a hole into her own forehead — where the transgression seems slightly off. Must we unify in having an identical dream the American dream, say instead of unifying in the fact that we do all have dreams, even if they may be wildly different?


Nov 18, Karin Slaughter rated it it was amazing. I bleed for them. And I just can’t stop thinking about them. I’m partial to short fiction anyway, barbbara these were just stunning: There’s a story about a woman learning that her husband was actually born a woman, a story about a man with two heads who tries to murder barbwra other head,another about a female exhibitionist, and another abrbara a girl who has toddler-sized legs on her torso her Siamese twin.

Many of Gowdy’s characters would be considered oddities — the eccentric extras played for “a bit of colour” even by authors I love like Anais Nin — but in these stories they’re neither peripheral and decorative, nor simply ordinary humans in peculiar circumstances, but complex, intriguing characters, that both make sense and stay strange. Some stories worked better than others, which is expected in any compilation of short stories, but overall, I applaud Gowdy for putting the powerful amount of effort she did into this book.

Because although it was a good piece of work, great even, it was not very palatable. Every story is about a person completely defined by his or her abnormality or trauma. Society, evolution, and biology together form a giant factory attempting to churn out the same types of people over and over.

Each time I came back to it after a long break, I could hear my inner shouting “Effing shut up already! Caution must be taken, especially if you’re very imaginative, as this book could deeply scar you. These really are just classic short stories gussied pn with modern sensibilities.

It’s not because of desire – it’s purely because that’s the most stable and therefore most statistically likely configuration. Some of these stories are great. But every story here was the same. Aug 29, David Horton rated it it ae ok Shelves: Deep down, beneath the lurid sex and freakish characters, this collection of short barbarx, We So Seldom Look on Love — a gorgeous title borrowed from a poem by Frank O’Hara — has a gooey, warm heart.