Arts + Culture » Literary

Born Weird

by Andrew Kaufman (Random House)

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Three things consistently make me cry with joy: Beyoncé’s “Halo,” when Christian the lion remembers his human friends and Andrew Kaufman. Kaufman’s novels are so clever and fun, I don’t realize how deeply his characters’ emotions resonate with me until I’m welling up. Born Weird is an expertly crafted modern fairytale about the emotions of family dynamics. It’s about the tenderness and anger exclusively reserved for the people you spent the first 18 years of your life with. At birth, each of the five Weird siblings were blessed by their grandmother to protect them. But in their adult lives, the blessings turned into curses---what the Weirds call “blursings.” Angie Weird, given the power to instantly forgive anyone (and is subsequently ignored and pushed around) travels across Canada rounding up her siblings in order to break the curse. Kaufman explores the complex roles we take on as children, in a story that’s as emotionally honest, funny and life-affirming as a Beyoncé concert.

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