White Elephants: A review

white elephants book cover

I began Katie Haegele’s White Elephants intrigued by the idea of finding magic in yard sales, because I too seek meaning in the conventionally benign. 

The book begins with a thoughtful meditation on the catalogue of experiences and objects that is to follow. It opens with a dose of explicit emotional honesty, which establishes the tone of vulnerability that pervades and characterizes the author’s writing. 

Just when I am growing bored with the endless tabulation of strange, kooky, sometimes creepy, random articles, Haegele expresses an impression so specific, so obscure, and so resonating that I feel an absolute sense of human connection. Things that I inherently understand, without having ever quite put into words myself. The feeling of autumn, crying internally—all small, and beautiful sentiments Katie captures with the clarity of her perceptive voice. The author is dreamy, she senses the life we instill in our possessions that eventually become discarded, and in rescuing them is perhaps saving a part of herself. 

White Elephants parallels rummage sales and yard sales with the death of one parent that catalyzes an intimacy with the other. It is a book about losing and finding, being lost and ultimately being found.

Find your own copy of White Elephants here. You can also read an interview with the author on our blog!

This is the first of a series of Microcosm intern book reviews. The next one is Cyn’s review of Aftermath of Forever.