A tender, brutal yet beautiful memoir that chronicles Machado's experience of an abusive relationship with another woman. Its form cleverly centres various constructed genres/tropes/literary or cinematic modes as versions of their relationship, either representing or in stark contrast with reality as her partner's behaviour becomes more and more cruel. As well as her own story, Machado examines what she calls the 'archival silence' around abuse in same sex relationships, the barriers to female-reported violence and tropes of queer representation in wider culture. Amazingly the abusive relationship has a real outcome that is one of the most ‘fable’ like parts of this memoir. Machado’s exquisite grasp of form and deep psychological insight makes this one of the most exciting books you’ll read in 2020.
At 105 pages, Isabel Waidner’s second novel for micropress Dostoyevsky Wannabe serves as a conveniently-sized companion for those moments of extreme Brexit-anxiety when comfort can only conceivably be found in queer migrant accounts of hocking bootleg high-end sportswear on the Isle of Wight. The wild, weird tale of cultural resistance I needed most in 2019.
Published by Dostoyevsky Wannabe on 20th January 2019
If Kathy Acker had written wild Dominican post-cyberpunk about ecological and temporal collapse, it might have looked something like Tentacle. The queer Yoruban eco-sci-fi skewering of the contemporary art world you didn’t know you needed.* With pirates.
*You probably knew deep down.