cover image Night Rooms: Essays

Night Rooms: Essays

Gina Nutt. Two Dollar Radio, $15.99 trade paper (172p) ISBN 978-1-953387-00-4

Poet Nutt (Wilderness Champion) spins a striking tale of survival and loss in this haunting essay collection. Nutt uses familiar tropes from horror films as a window into her thinking; an early essay entwines a family vacation with references to the movie Jaws, where “a shark is a metaphor for unexpected death” and “the ocean is balm and horror.” Another focuses on the experience of buying a home—“house horror,” she calls it—as Nutt discovers “how dangerous a house can be, all the stairs, corners, and outlets.” She describes a website where one can find out if someone died in a house, and compares the movies Beetlejuice and Poltergeist to ask “How many ways may a house be a metaphor?” As the fragmented essays poignantly return to the deaths of three of her family members by suicide, Nutt considers what it means to be the “final girl” who survives “when a horror movie’s credits roll.” The book’s episodic, mosaic form perfectly balances the strange appeal of getting close, “but not too close” to the author’s “cabinet of all past dreads.” Lovers of the personal essay will be thrilled by this innovative collection. (Mar.)