The Ancestry of Objects

Tatiana Ryckman. Deep Vellum, $15.95 trade paper (144p) ISBN 978-1-64605-025-3
An unemployed, suicidal woman recounts a passionate affair in Ryckman’s seductive experimental novella (after I Don’t Think of You (Until I Do)). After the narrator loses her job and begins contemplating killing herself, she meets a guy named David at a bar. After they see each other at a grocery store a short time later, he drives her home, and though he is married, the two embark on a passionate affair. As their relationship grows more intense, she becomes obsessed, admitting, “The fantasy is not to have David but to be known by David.” Vivid phrases and short, sharp chapters—sometimes as little as a single sentence or paragraph—keep up the momentum, while an unusual use of first-person plural narration (“Me too, we think,” the narrator says, referring to herself) keeps the reader on their toes, even if the prose’s rhythm and inventiveness can feel precious (“we stop to notsee, notlisten, notthink about what is or is not in the house with us”). Still, readers of lyrical, genre-bending fiction will be spellbound. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 07/08/2020
Release date: 09/01/2020
Genre: Fiction
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