No One Is Talking About This, by Patricia Lockwood
22 September 2021
Quite possibly you’re connected to, on, or in the portal, as you read these words. The simplest definition of the portal would be the internet, though most likely there’s a world of difference between the two. The portal could perhaps be regarded as a hard core social media experience, one that all but consumes those who enter its purview. Does this somehow sound familiar?
No One Is Talking About This (published by Bloomsbury Circus, 16 February 2021), is the debut novel of American poet and author Patricia Lockwood. It tells the story of an unnamed social media influencer who is so caught up in the seemingly inescapable domain of the portal, she appears to have lost sight of what is meant to be the real world. This abruptly changes though when she receives word of a family emergency, and is forced to bring herself back to the here and now.
No One Is Talking About This, which has been named on the shortlist of the 2021 Booker Prize, places the protagonist in two starkly different realms, to the point the novel feels like two novels. In doing so, might the suggestion be the portal and real life can, in some way, co-exist? I don’t know; does a choice even exist?