Choke Box: A Fem-Noir

Christina Milletti. Univ. of Massachusetts, $19.95 trade paper (160p) ISBN 978-1-62534-425-0
Milletti’s debut is a bracing cri de coeur against the silencing of women’s voices. “Ghost writer. Housewife. Mother. I’ve been trained to silence myself in countless ways,” says the narrator, Jane Tamlin, who has been committed to a Buffalo psychiatric institute after a series of unsettling domestic incidents culminating in the mysterious disappearance of her husband. Jane has a “family history of authorship and unusual endings,” having ghostwritten the bestselling memoirs of her teenage brother before his overdose. Written in her confinement, Jane’s own narrative describes her “family’s swift and complete devolution” in the months before her husband’s disappearance, beginning when, in a blackout, she stabs her son with a butter knife. A nonfatal accident also befalls her infant daughter. All the while, her husband has quit his job, begun an affair with a neighbor, and decided to write his memoirs. Overwhelmed, underappreciated, and exhausted, Jane becomes convinced that her husband is orchestrating the strange events rocking the household: “Everything my husband writes becomes true.” The novel’s mishmash of genres—domestic drama, psychological thriller, satire, supernatural tale, metafiction—sometimes overwhelms, but Milletti is always entertaining in her dismantling of the madwoman in the attic trope, making for a sharp, playful novel. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 03/27/2019
Release date: 03/01/2019
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 160 pages - 978-1-61376-675-0
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 160 pages - 978-1-61376-674-3
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