Feebleminded

Ariana Harwicz, trans. from the Spanish by Annie McDermott and Carolina Orloff. Charco, $15.95 trade paper (120p) ISBN 978-1-9164656-0-2
Harwicz’s blazing and unnerving follow-up to Die, My Love, the second in a trilogy, focuses on a volatile mother-daughter relationship. The unnamed narrator, a young woman, careens the reader through wild, nearly impenetrable stream-of-consciousness prose in a story that contains no names for characters or places. The narrator, who lives with her mother, is forever waiting for the married man she’s been sleeping with. Harwicz centers the narrator and the mother as sexual beings, “both in heat from the scalp down.” The narrator traces her own life and her mother’s through each of their sexual exploits, beginning at the moment of her own conception. The women’s days are filled with physical excess, from their constant masturbation to gorging on rotten food and being sick afterwards. An undercurrent of violence persists throughout, including a rape fantasy, and the violence looms larger when the narrator discovers her lover’s wife is pregnant. She fantasizes about all the ways the woman’s pregnancy could go wrong, and longs for her own death. Then the mother learns about the narrator’s heartache, and the two conspire to enact bloody vengeance. A slow start and unhinged narration make for challenging reading, but once the story gets going, it pays off with dividends. Harwicz succeeds in luring the reader into the darker aspects of the human mind. (Oct)
Reviewed on : 07/30/2020
Release date: 10/01/2020
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 978-1-9164656-7-1
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