“You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me is a marvel of emotional transparency, a story told with the fewest possible filters by a writer grieving the loss of a complicated mother … Alexie’s memoir is deliberately ragged, deliberately inflated, deliberately redundant. Alexie is a writer who will use a single word again and again in a single sentence or scene, like a drum beat; he is a writer who will, unabashed, present the same facts inside new frames. There are 160 numbered sections over the course of more than 450 pages, and sometimes the most poignant moments are contained in the chapter titles. Sometimes poignancy arises in the ways Alexie breaks out of a poem and into prose and back again, and sometimes in the juxtaposition between Alexie’s pain and his mother’s.”
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Alex Reisner explores Book3, the database Meta uses to train generative-AI, and finds Shakespeare, Bukowski, and How to Housebreak Your Dog in 7 Days (among others).