In her debut collection, Attempts at a Life, Danielle Dutton combines floral umbrellas with strange dreams, the English countryside, and Virginia Woolf, setting the stage for a well-read book of flash fiction. Often taking the form of vignettes, Dutton’s stories narrate various biographies and autobiographies, exploring the ways narrative expectations shape one’s own life story. Written in a lyrical style that borders on the poetic, the works in Attempts at a Life question such literary conventions, frequently manipulating reader’s expectations while at the same time scrutinizing them….
Attempts at a Life is a compelling, enigmatic read. Ideal for readers of the fiction and the literary essay alike, Danielle Dutton’s new book is a significant contribution to contemporary experimental writing. Five stars.