Claire-Louise Bennett’s book Pond is luscious and magical, and deeply personal. To me, at least - as a reader. Her narrator is a woman living alone in a little house. Her friends and family appear, but this is not their story. Instead (hooray) it is her own: the story of her musings, conjectures, meditations, imagination. The poetic essays that populate the book are really short stories, or chapters, or some union of the three. In turns and all at once they are extraordinary, quotidian, domestic, wild, earthy and contemplative: true to the mind, or at least to some particularly self-knowing mind. And then there is the punctuation.
From MORNING, NOON & NIGHT:
Sometimes a banana with coffee is nice. It ought not to be too ripe - in fact there should be a definite remainder of green along the stalk, and if there isn’t, forget about it. Though admittedly that is easier said than done. Apples can be forgotten about, but not bananas, not really. They don’t in fact take at all well to being forgotten about. They wizen and stink of putrid and go almost black.
Oatcakes along with it can be nice, the rough sort. The rough sort of oatcake goes especially well with a banana by the way - by the way, the banana might be chilled slightly. This can occur in the fridge overnight of course, depending on how prescient and steadfast one is about one’s morning victuals, or, it might be, and this in fact is much more preferable, there’s a nice cool windowsill where a bowl especially for fruit can always be placed…