Ten Opening Paragraphs for a Review of Marie Calloway’s “What Purpose Did I Serve In Your Life”

Marie Calloway What Purpose Did I Serve In Your Life

“I’m a man. Does that make it impossible for me to review Marie Calloway’s What Purpose Did I Serve In Your Life, or does it make me the book’s target audience?”

“In all the reviews I’ve written, I’ve never felt my opinion is so unnecessary as in the case of What Purpose Did I Serve In Your Life. The last thing the world needs is yet another opinion about Marie Calloway.”

“Marie Calloway, in What Purpose Did I Serve In Your Life, has pulled off the unlikely feat of turning book publishing itself into a sex act.”

“I told a friend I was was reviewing Marie Calloway’s new book, and she said, ‘I feel like Marie Calloway is broken, and the kind of writing she’s doing is not healthy.'”

“The most profound chapter of Marie Calloway’s book What Purpose Did I Serve In Your Life is the one that contains none of her writing at all. In ‘Criticism,’ Calloway superimposes the text of criticisms of her work over photos of her body—sometimes clothed, sometimes unclothed, always with a blank, indifferent expression. In doing so, she vividly dramatizes the difference between traditional confessional writing and confessional writing online, where feedback is instant and personal.”

“Once you start reading Marie Calloway’s What Purpose Did I Serve In Your Life, you’ll almost certainly finish it. How do I know? Because the ‘sex’ category on The Tangential gets three times as many hits as the next most-popular category, and that’s where almost every chapter in this book would go.”

“Marie Calloway’s new book What Purpose Did I Serve In Your Life is one of a few recent releases that feel like signposts marking the divide between old lit—where writing is something that you take the phone off the hook to do—and new lit—where writing is something that you pull your phone out of your pocket to do.”

“Is it even possible to review a Marie Calloway book without reviewing Marie Calloway?”

“A printer’s refusal to make copies of Marie Calloway’s new book What Purpose Did I Serve In Your Life is occasioning trend pieces that lump the book together with Fifty Shades of Grey as an example of controversial books about sex, a ‘genre’ that’s supposedly growing in popularity. That fact just serves to show how unprepared the conventional publishing world is to deal with the likes of Marie Calloway.”

“Marie Calloway’s new book is terrifying. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is for you to decide.”

- Jay Gabler