Not One Day

Not One Day



The Pequod Review:

Originally published in 2002, but only released in English in 2017, Anne Garreta's novel Not One Day recounts (or imagines) a wide-ranging series of sexual encounters from the narrator's — and probably Garreta's — own life. As she explains at the outset:

What’s to be done with our inclinations?

Why not write something different, differently than you usually do? Once more, but with a new twist, rid yourself of your self. Shed the accoutrements of this disentangling, keep at bay a little longer, if you can, who you think you are. Since you can no longer conceive of writing except in long and intricate constructions, isn’t it time to go against the grain?...

Here’s what you have resolved to do (there’s no more radical way to differ or dissemble from oneself than what you’re planning here). It comes down to a single maxim: Not one day without a woman.

Which simply means that you will allocate five hours (the time it takes a moderately well-trained subject to compose a standard academic essay) each day, for a month, at your computer, aiming to recount the memory you have of one woman or another whom you have desired or who has desired you. That will be the narrative: the unwinding of memory in the strict framework of a given moment.

The episodes are decent but what gives the book its power is the way in which they cumulatively reveal more and more about the narrator herself.