|Dimensions||21 × 15 × 2.2 cm|
In ‘The Dominant Animal’ – Kathryn Scanlan’s adventurous, unsettling debut collection – compression is key. Sentences have been relentlessly trimmed, tuned and teased for maximum impact, and a ferocious attention to rhythm and sound results in a palpable pulse of excitability and distress. The nature of love is questioned at a golf course, a flower shop, an all-you-can-eat buffet. The clay head of a man is bought and displayed as a trophy. Interior life manifests on the physical plane, where characters – human and animal – eat and breathe, provoke and injure one another. With exquisite control, Scanlan moves from expansive moods and fine afternoons to unease and violence – and also from deliberate and generative ambiguity to shocking, revelatory exactitude.
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