The collection’s greatest strength may be Hodson’s self-awareness. Writing of her desire to be 'fractional,' or not wholly seen, she joins a body of women writers whose subject is their own self-destruction as a means of escaping domestic ennui.... These lucid insights, and Hodson’s transfixing style, mark a memorable first collection.
Reading Hodson's work feels risky; it's breathtaking, both in its inherent exhilaration and also, often, because it's funny... But it also makes you feel connected to things, as if you are forging new relationships to the things and people in the world around you, uncovering new understandings about permanence, about intuition, about love and sex and lies and secrets and truth, about life.
Despite the nebulous self that emerges, Hodson’s writing style betrays her in a way, offering a clear and strong point of view. Although less successful pieces can lose the narrative thread and read disjointedly, this is overall a unique collection about being an artist and a woman in a world that doesn’t always value either.
[Hodson's] essays offer emotional heft and immersive storytelling ... Though even in the weakest entries Hodson produces some insight and humor, she is at her best working in more disciplined, narrative forms—an approach she embraces too rarely.
[Chelsea Hodson is] precise about the most mysterious things, cool, and thoughtfully exploratory.... From the title on, [Tonight I’m Someone Else draws upon a concentrated attention to self that leads continually toward something new.
While the idea that consumerism is driven by a desire to become someone else is not new, what’s unique about Hodson’s essay collection is the way she stares at the desire and forces it to confess its dimensions, its origins, and what it is doing for her (and for us) day in and day out ... Tonight I’m Someone Else is a collection that’s also in thick conversation with other writers and thinkers such as Édouard Levé, James Richardson, and Arthur Rimbaud ... It’s enchanting to watch how she does it ... It’s refreshing to read an essay collection that does not try to obscure the sometimes grueling, oftentimes low-paying work most writers need to do in order to keep writing. Hodson manages to do this without romanticizing that work.
[Tonight I'm Someone Else] is here, bringing Hodson’s particular skills to the forefront. She has a particular ability to blend immediacy with a sharply rendered sense of distance; the combination makes for a memorable experience.
The author's word choices capture entire worlds and emotional landscapes... Hodson's language magnetizes and begs for attention... keeping the pages turning. A simultaneously bewildering and compelling body of work.
I’m so blown away by Chelsea Hodson that I almost don’t know what to say. Tonight I’m Someone Else is thoughtful, insightful, and so affecting that it’s painful. Every sentence will stay with you for a long, long time. Read this book.