Miranda July, The First Bad Man
From one of the most singular, original voices in fiction, film, and art today comes a debut novel about companionship and love—and our weird, wonderful human ways of finding and creating it. The First Bad Man is the story of Cheryl, a passive middle aged woman whose twin obsessions—one with an opportunistic man named Phillip and one with a baby she met as a child—govern her life (this life, she believes, and many past lives, too). When her bosses at the women’s self-defense non-profit ask her to let their difficult daughter, Clee, move in with her “temporarily,” Cheryl reluctantly agrees. Clee is a terrible house guest at best and an aggressive bully at worst, disrupting Cheryl’s life and shocking her into action. As their unorthodox relationship blooms, it changes them both, making a very different kind of love possible for Cheryl.
In her unique, befuddling, laugh-out-loud way, Miranda July depicts all the quirks of desire, motherhood, love of all kinds, sex of all kinds, forgiveness, and the struggle of finding a family and a place in the world. Lovingly reviewed by the likes of Lena Dunham (who says,” Never has a novel spoken so deeply to my sexuality, my spirituality, my secret self. I know I am not alone.”), Dave Eggers, Chris Ware, and Andrew Solomon, July’s first novel is satisfyingly her own.
Miranda July is the author of the short story collection No One Belongs Here More Than You, writer/director/star of the films The Future (2011) and You Me and Everyone We Know (2005), and creators of a multitude of art installations and projects. She was raised in Berkeley, California; she lives in Los Angeles.
Miranda July visits Bookshop Santa Cruz for a reading, audience Q&A, and book signing.
Author photo by Todd Cole.