New fiction: All This Has Nothing To Do With Me by Monica Sabolo
A slim book, but one that contains many recognisable moments
MS has got it bad. She hired a man to work with her, a younger man with a cravat and a Vespa, and developed an obsession with him. He occupies all of her brain space. She steals his lighters when they sit in cafes. She messages Facebook to see if people can tell how many times their profile has been clicked on. She writes to his favourite author (and the author is dead). XX, as she refers to the object of her obsession, is driving her crazy. But it’s a crazy a lot of us will recognise from our darker moments.
MS and XX appear in All This Has Nothing to Do with Me by French former journalist Monica Sabolo. It carefully dissects unrequited love and the full force of MS’s fixation. Sabolo also delves into painful family history. But it’s really funny too. MS’s friend responds to a lengthy email with one line, quoting XX, “‘I’ll wear a cravat’????” Her desperate overtures to Facebook and her phone company are overly-formal comic exaggeration. All This Has Nothing to Do with Me is a slim book, but it contains many recognisable moments. One for us all.