Costumes of the Living

Gaurav Monga. Snuggly, $10 trade paper (66p) ISBN 978-1-64525-044-9
Clothing serves as allegory, motif, character, and more in this brief collection of darkly charming, Neo-Decadent microfiction. In 15 disjointed but thematically rich vignettes, Monga (Ruins) displays his knack for subtlety, nuance, and psychological depth through descriptions of his characters’ shifting relationships to dress. A woman obsessively irons her clothes, believing they will someday replace her human body in “Madras Is Bleached.” The powerful “Cotton Borders” uses the juxtaposition of an arrested man’s tattered clothing with the ornate dress of the arresting officer to illustrate a tale of power, luck, and memory. In the odd, insightful “Gauze Like Texture,” a precocious young boy observes the outfits of his female teacher and reflects on his own manner of dress. Death, disease, social class, gender identity, and more are touched upon in this slim, arresting volume. Any reader with an interest in Decadence should enjoy these strange, impactful tales. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 06/03/2020
Release date: 09/15/2020
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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