No One is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood

Published: 2021 1. First lines 2. Cover: Bloomsbury 3. Social media applications [Public Domain] via Pxfuel 4. Woman’s face [Public Domain] via Flickr

An unnamed woman is a global social media influencer. She is constantly communicating through social media which she calls “the portal”, and she travels the world attending speaking engagements. This changes when she is suddenly called back home to a family tragedy.

She wanted to stop people on the street and say, ‘Do you know about this? You should know about this. No one is talking about this!

Glanceabook: The story is written in two distinct parts. The first, written in short “Twitter-like” posts, introduces the reader to the main character, a woman who lives online as a global social media personality. The second part is written in short paragraphs, but with a distinct difference in mood. The woman is now dealing with a family tragedy in real life, and this part is very touching and sincere. The first part, although quite witty, did not seem to have any real function in the book as a whole other than introducing the character, but only superficially.

  • Kirkus: “An insightful—frequently funny, often devastating—meditation on human existence online and off.”
  • Vox: “But anyone who can make it through that first half of No One Is Talking About This — whether with a pleasurable wince of recognition, as I did, or in a state of bewilderment, as a not-Online reader might — will be jolted awake by the second half, when the world outside the portal intrudes violently in on our protagonist.”
  • The Standard UK: “Written in the frantic, scattershot voice of its protagonist, No One Is Talking About This mimics the plotless, performative insouciance of a Twitter feed, which is to say it fizzes with the over-stimulated aphoristic wit that has made Lockwood the darling of Twitter. It’s a filthy, funny, strung-out prose poem that aims to capture precisely how we think and speak online and what that might mean, and it’s often both stingingly accurate and weirdly beautiful.”


“Modern womanhood was more about rubbing snail mucus on your face than she had thought it would be. But it had always been something, hadn’t it? Taking drops of arsenic. Winding bandages around the feet. Polishing your teeth with lead. It was so easy to believe you freely chose the paints, polishes, and waist-trainers of your own time, while looking back with tremendous pity to women of the past in their whalebones; that you took the longest strides your body was capable of, while women of the past limped forward on broken arches.”

“Something has gone wrong,” her mother texts. “How soon can you get here?”

“But how strange, she had thought, biting into a slice of bread-and-butter that tasted like sunshine in green fields, to live in a country where someone can say “the massacre” and you don’t have to ask which one”.

“There is still a real life to be lived, there are still real things to be done.”

Author: Patricia Lockwood (Penguin Random House)


Also published by Penguin Random House


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