How It Works Out by Myriam Lacroix

Myriam and Allison meet and fall in love over and over again in How It Works Out by Myriam Lacroix, a series of fictional hypotheticals about their relationship. In one version of their story, they find a baby in an alley and he becomes their son, Jonah, who they protect from being found by whoever left him there. In another, Myriam’s depression is only effectively treated by eating Allison’s flesh (just some light cannibalism here). In another, they are characters in a movie. Myriam is Allison’s boss, or they write a successful book together before Myriam dies from food poisoning

How It Works Out takes a truth (Myriam and Allison love one another) and then changes some facts to see what happens with a new dynamic or setting. It’s an experiment in the form of linked short stories, with the story resetting at the end of every one. But this is all implied. Alone, these are stories about different relationships — well done, but I didn’t find any of them particularly standout. It’s together that these stories have their power, where they piece together their different storylines into one larger story and question: with the details changed, how does this relationship go? Are they happy? Do they stay together? If it gets weird, how weird does it have to be to affect the course of their love?

How It Works Out takes a truth (Myriam and Allison love one another) and then changes some facts to see what happens with a new dynamic or setting … the experiment Lacroix is doing here is well worth taking the time to go read it.

This is a strange collection of stories, and I’ve never read something quite like it, but the experiment Lacroix is doing here is well worth taking the time to go read it. It’s odd, it’s funny, it’s sad — and it’s an exercise in picking out the threads of love and determining what makes a love story what it is.

MYRIAM LACROIX was born in Montreal to a Québécois mother and a Moroccan father, and currently lives in Vancouver. She has a BFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia and an MFA from Syracuse University, where she was editor in chief of Salt Hill Journal and received the New York Public Humanities Fellowship for creating Out-Front, an LGBTQ+ writing group whose goal was to expand the possibilities of queer writing.

Publisher: Doubleday Canada (May 7, 2024)
Hardcover 9″ x 6″ | 232 pages
ISBN: 9780385698405

 -- Website

Alison Manley has ricocheted between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia for most of her life. Now in Halifax, Nova Scotia, she is the Cataloguing and Metadata Librarian at Saint Mary's University. Her past life includes a long stint as a hospital librarian on the banks of the mighty Miramichi River. She has an honours BA in political science and English from St. Francis Xavier University, and a Master of Library and Information Studies from Dalhousie University. While she's adamant that her love of reading has nothing to do with her work, her ability to consume large amounts of information very quickly sure is helpful. She is often identified by her very red lipstick, and lives with her partner Brett and cat, Toasted Marshmallow.

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