By Troy Patterson
Updated March 17, 2020 at 02:54 AM EDT

Everything You Need

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  • Book
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In Everything You Need, Mary Lamb — getting her hind legs as an author at age 19 — ships off for a seven-year stint at Foal Island, a writers’ colony combining the salient features of a summer camp and a cult compound. She does not know that her mentor is her long-absent father, Nathan Staples, a Famous Author who comes complete with suicidal depression, an alcoholic editor, and a bouncy dog so loyally literary that he has interior monologues (e.g., ”meat want”). Actually, A.L. Kennedy — doing something to balance the cloyingness of this thick fairy tale — gives all the principals interior monologues, exposing their base needs and grand illusions. The author doesn’t so much develop a plot as simply put characters in proximity to death, offering exact and musical descriptions of the motions of the living soul.

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Everything You Need

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