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Too Much and Not the Mood
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Too Much and Not the Mood

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An entirely original portrait of a young writer shutting out the din in order to find her own voice

On April 11, 1931, Virginia Woolf ended her entry in A Writer’s Diary with the words “too much and not the mood.” She was describing how tired she was of correcting her own writing, of the “cramming in and the cutting out” to please other readers, wondering if she had anything at all that was truly worth saying.

The character of that sentiment, the attitude of it, inspired Durga Chew-Bose to write and collect her own work. The result is a lyrical and piercingly insightful collection of essays, letters (to her grandmother, to the basketball star Michael Jordon, to Death), and her own brand of essay-meets-prose poetry about identity and culture. Inspired by Maggie Nelson’s Bluets, Lydia Davis’s short prose, and Vivian Gornick’s exploration of interior life, Chew-Bose captures the inner restlessness that keeps her always on the brink of creative expression.

Too Much and Not the Mood is a beautiful and surprising exploration of what it means to be a first-generation, creative young woman working today.

Title:Too Much and Not the Mood
ISBN:0374535957
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:224 pages
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    Too Much and Not the Mood Reviews

  • Natalie
    May 07, 2017

    On April 11, 1931, Virginia Woolf ended her entry in A Writer’s Diary with the words “too much and not the mood.” She was describing how tired she was of correcting her own writing, of the “...

  • Emily
    Apr 09, 2017

    My experience reading this (particularly Heart Museum, the first and longest essay) was a little like listening to a new album for the first time: I would either snag on a sentence and read it on repe...

  • Michael Livingston
    May 22, 2017

    Personal essays, filled with digressions and tangents - the first (and longest) essay set me back on my heels a bit, but I eventually got into the rhythm of the language and let all the twists and tur...

  • Tanisha
    May 20, 2017

    durga chew-bose made me cry, forty-five minutes into a flight from marseille to new york. i was leaving one home for another, leaving my french host family depuis quatre mois (or, my french grandparen...

  • Hannah
    May 17, 2017

    just some quick notes why do i like durgas writing so muchi like the idea of writing whilst having someone in mind that you are writing to and the emphasis on sounds. lots of walking through collectio...

  • Libby
    Apr 27, 2017

    I've followed Durga Chew-Bose's work (& instagram) for a while now, so before reading this I had a sense of what to expect. But whilst reading the first essay, there were multiple times where I reread...

  • Cassie Lahmann
    Apr 26, 2017

    I didn't know something so messy could be so devastatingly perfect and absurdly beautiful....

  • Shejanul Islam
    May 05, 2017

    This book was recommended by a good friend of mine and I can't wait to thank her in person for doing this godly work to me. Durga is brown, Durga is Bengali, Durga is a child of an immigrant family in...

  • Lorri Steinbacher
    Apr 23, 2017

    I love the targeted-meandering style of Chew-Bose's prose. You're not sure where you are going, but suddenly there you are and the better for it.. And the images--oh, guys, the images!--sublime. Being...

  • Anupa
    Apr 26, 2017

    These essays remind me that my life is theatrical and cinematic and beautiful!! It's about writing and family and friends and New York and womanhood. I also like the way she writes about dogs. ...