13 February 2019
‘I have heard all of the stories about girls like me, and I am unafraid to make more of them.’ ― Carmen Maria Machado, Her Body and Other Parties
Whichever dates you prefer, Galentine’s or Valentine’s Day, this week is all about literary loving, and here at Serpent’s Tail we have fallen head over heels for our incredible feminist fiction. Marketing Manager Rachel Nobilo is here to tell you all about her top three reads.
Gather your gals and fall in love in the post-communist diaspora with Virtuoso, covet the wicked and exquisite in Her Body and Other Parties, and explore your desire to escape to unchartered territory with The Word for Woman is Wilderness.
Yelena Moskovich’s Virtuoso follows the relationship between Jana and Zorka, from the streets of 1980s Communist Prague, to the suburbs of 1990s Wisconsin and the lesbian bars of present-day Paris. Written with the dramatic tension of Euripidean tragedy and the dreamlike quality of a David Lynch film, Virtuoso is an audacious, mesmerising novel and praised by the Guardian as having ‘the stylish languor of a Lana del Rey song’. Find outwhy Yelena celebrates weirdness and its effect on literature.
In The Word for Woman is Wilderness, nineteen-year-old Erin embarks on a voyage into the wilderness, a one-woman challenge to the archetype of the rugged male explorer. Abi Andrews’ debut novel is filled with a sense of wonder for the natural world and a fierce love for preserving it. Discover how Abi has been influenced by Rachel Carson and her representation of our relationship with nature.
Carmen Maria Machado’s ‘impossible, imperfect, unforgettable’ debut Her Body and Other Parties, as praised by Roxane Gay, has met with worldwide acclaim. In these dark, shimmering stories, Carmen demolishes the borders between magical realism and science fiction, comedy and horror, fantasy and fabulism. Listen to Carmen discuss the books she loves and the bookshops she can’t resist.
From the provocatively monstrous to the mesmerizingly dreamlike, love appears in a myriad of forms in these three books. Read them with your loved one, read them with your besties, or, read them alone, perhaps in your favourite cafe – because, as Abi Andrews writes, ‘the small autonomy of just being alone in public for a woman is also a right that needs to be claimed and kept on being claimed until it is a given’.
However you choose to embrace these unforgettable novels, you’ll be romancing yourself in the best possible way this February.
Want to win your new love match? Email email@example.com by midnight GMT on Friday 22 February, with the subject line ‘Galentines’ to be in to win all three books in the perfect Serpent’s Tail shelfie.*
*UK entries only. Prize is non-transferable.
Share the love on Twitter with: