最近看了一部短篇小說集 The Girl's Guide to Fishing & Hunting。裡面的短篇大都以同一女子的角度，敍述她成長戀愛工作的故事，讀起來更像一部長篇。也就是一個雕通眼眉、能言善辯的女孩，在閱讀世界、在學習成喜歡看王雅雋在明報的《星期日談情》；喜歡她其中一個副題：〈戀愛中的香港人〉——彷佛我們也有精力時間戀愛，彷佛我們也戀愛得起。在一個年輕相愛的醫生律師奮力合作也買不起居所的城市，不在香港長大的雅雋告訴我們，香港人也會戀愛，雖然有時拘謹躊躇、有時殘缺不全。
最近看了一部短篇小說集 The Girl's Guide to Fishing & Hunting。裡面的短篇大都以同一女子的角度，敍述她成長戀愛工作的故事，讀起來更像一部長篇。也就是一個雕通眼眉、能言善辯的女孩，在閱讀世界、在學習成長。愛上了作者 Melissa Bank 簡潔深刻而又幽默感人的文筆，請容我抄一下書：
“[Her elder brother] turned to me and said, "Do you know your IQ goes up and down about fifty points in every conversation?"
I didn't know if this was a compliment or an insult, but I didn't like how he was looking at me-- as though from the great distance of his new life. I said, "No one likes being talked about to their face." Then I felt bad. "Anyway," I said, "E=MC2."
小說一直處於這種半昧不明、抽離與投入之間的狀態。這裡主角 Janie 雖然只有十四歲，已知道：『沒有人喜歡別人在她面前議論她。』卻不能度量與將轉變成男人的哥哥的距離。換了是別的小說中的聰明女子舌戰贏了就只有在沉默中悲哀；Janie 可愛之處是她針鋒相對後隨即又過意不去，於是用幽默拉近她和哥哥的距離。
“She said, "You still get flashbacks?"
"I think I always will," I said.
"Remember," she said, "never say 'always.'"
"I really appreciate your support," I said.
She said, "It helps me stay strong."
I said, "Every days is a gift."
“What do you think was so good about the good old days?" I asked, in exasperation. But I heard how harsh my voice was and didn't like it. I said, "what do you miss, I mean?"
While she thought, I waited to make my point: that everything was much better now than it used to be; I'd cite the civil rights and woman's movements.
"The boy who lit the street lamps in the evening," she said, finally, "He carried a stool with him."
I understood then-- it was like missing Nantucket-- and I put my hand on top of hers. It occurred to me that everything was more complicated than I thought.
I tried to understand what Henry had told me. But I worried about that, too. Other people might not try as hard as I did to understand him. I was always on his side, no matter what. My parents were, too. All he really had to do with us was show up. More had been expected of him as Julia's boyfriend and at that party. More would be expected of him everywhere. I didn't know what had happened between him and Julia. It scared me to think that my brother had failed at loving someone, I had no idea myself how to do it.
個人覺得全書最感人的是 Janie 與後來患病的爸爸的交流。她爸爸堅強、樂觀，而且不吝於表達對女兒的感情：
“Over the weekend, my father told me he was concerned about my missing work; when was I going back?
"I am taking a leave of absence," I said, deciding then. "I'm malingering vicariously through you."
He said,"I'm glad."
Then he looked right at me, and said, "It means a great deal to me that you're here."
“Life is unfair, my love
“I can't make the decision for you.
“Don't take the easy way out, Janie
不過這本被 Wikipedia 稱做女生文學 "Chick Lit"的代表作、與 Bridget Jone's Diary 齊名的作品，寫的篇幅最多仍是感情：
“My mother hardly ever gave me advice about men, and I only remember asking her once, in fifth grade... I asked how you got a boy your liked to like you back. She said, "Just be yourself," as though I had any idea who that might be.
事實上，這本書之所以叫《女子漁獵手冊》，是 Janie 經過多次戀愛失敗以後，決定根據一本自助式的戀愛攻略書來「釣」男人。過程（很好笑）不講了，只想引用最後她遇到的一個畫漫畫的男生想畫的漫畫，來形容這本書：美麗好笑悲哀真實的故事。
“We go to Mere Mortals, a collection of one acts by David Ives. The one I love the most is about two mayflies on a date; they watch a nature documentary about themselves and discover their life span is only one day long-- after mating, they'll die.
Leaving the theater, Robert and I are both dazzled and exuberant, talking at once and laughing, and we spontaneously kiss.
He says, "I want to mate with you and die."
We have a drink at one of those old-fashioned restaurants in the theater district. Robert says the mayflies play is what every cartoon he draws aspires to be-- beautiful and funny and sad and true....Continua