cover image Dyscalculia: A Love Story of Epic Miscalculation

Dyscalculia: A Love Story of Epic Miscalculation

Camonghne Felix. One World, $27 (240p) ISBN 978-0-593-24217-9

Poet Felix (Build Yourself a Boat) recounts the implosion of a relationship in this biting memoir. After she discovered her partner had had an affair, Felix was so devastated, she writes, that she wanted “to die,” and the ensuing breakup led Felix to reflect on past traumas, specifically being repeatedly raped as a child by an older cousin, and years of largely ineffective inpatient psychiatric care. In her adulthood, a psychiatrist diagnosed her with bipolar two and prescribed a stabilizer, and “for the first time, things begin to add up.” Mathematical metaphors are sprinkled throughout as Felix traces her failed relationship and comes to terms with her role in its chaos (“When I spiral, I take on my own momentum, my own force, fractals of my many fractals taking on new diameter”). Her writing hums with coruscating lyricism, most notably in her depictions of the transformative effects of romantic love: Felix is “like an arrow in its quiver” and “a werewolf at the turn of the moon” as she falls deeper in love. Visceral and radiant, this soul-searching self-interrogation resonates. Agent: Elyse Cheney, Cheney Agency. (Feb.)