Review: ‘The First Bad Man’ by Miranda July

January 16, 2015 6:28 PM

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Review: ‘The First Bad Man’ by Miranda July

Love comes in a dizzying number of shapes and sizes, Miranda July demonstrates in her stunning first novel. An artist who works in a wide mix of media — quirky short videos, an award-winning feature film, art installations, prizewinning short stories — July also deals in mixed emotions. She brings all these elements to play in the story of awkward, withdrawn Cheryl Glickman’s search for love.

Rushing into middle age, Cheryl obsesses over a baby she’s been in love with since she was nine; she remembers his name as Kubelko Bondy. She’s still looking for him, auditioning every baby she meets. Even she can’t tell you whether she wants to find love with the adult Kubelko or replace him. Years...

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