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Elegantly Naked In My Sexy Mental Illness (2014)

by Heather Fowler(Favorite Author)
4.22 of 5 Votes: 4
ISBN
1938466284 (ISBN13: 9781938466281)
languge
English
genre
publisher
Queen’s Ferry Press
review 1: Elegantly Naked in My Sexy Mental Illness by Heather Fowler is 16 stories that ‘cross unseen barriers’ created by a world that pretends these characters are far-removed from our existence: the obsessions, the phobias, the voices. Fowler exposes the fraudulence of our so-called ‘sanity’ in every one of these stories by revealing scars, secrets, traumas through characters that are not only familiar, but familial: humanity masked behind drapes. “They made their lives with monotony. She ached for something new. I stole in, invisible, as I always do. It is easy to steal a heart unguarded, as easy as opening an unlocked door. I watched her and touched her–expecting nothing.”“Blood drenched our fields. It made us see red. The poor would not wait.” Fowler wisks u... mores smoothly through the 12th century to the present to remind us that ‘then and now,’ are interchangeable with judgment, death sentence, class issues, vengeance and the lust to dominate someone just beyond our reach. This is a powerful collection that doesn’t flinch from domination and hierarchy of society’s sociopaths who live without conscience, require a recipe of ignorance, narcissism and a world that condones the behavior in order to overpower and find a ‘reason to be’ through pain and paralysis of others: “She wouldn’t call these intrusions rape exactly. More like a strange penetration, the desire of which she never mirrored.”“Sometimes she thought of her mother and visualized a needle coming up and through the stretched canvas embroidery, then down again. The wood that circled its perimeter held down her tight stitches, and she imagined herself as the canvas. Celine was always stretching. First for this one, then the next.” And yes, there is empowerment blasting through Fowler’s characters: enter Treble Ann up against Bible-boy:“I’m gonna do it,” he said. “I’m gonna do whatever I want, girl. Because I ain’t like anybody else. I take what I want, and now I want you.”Treble Ann works Bible-boy like an instrument after he attempts to rape her:“...she took him down in three blows, ducking his attempts to hit her. She hadn’t had a real tussle in a long time and couldn’t quite explain the anger that swelled within her as she touched him, made her want to hit him more and more, even after he stopped fighting.”Fowler’s stories reach not only through centuries, but through all facets of what it is to be human without letting us forget that we are animals. Mammals that don’t attack in order to survive, but survive in order to attack.Heather Fowler’s writing is inimitable and unforgettable. As in her other collections, she fearlessly storms through uncharted waters. Get a copy!
review 2: My blurb from the back cover:The stories in Heather Fowler’s Elegantly Naked in My Sexy Mental Illness span time and space, sanity and insanity, our dreams and our nightmares. From Renaissance Italy to the French Revolution to the modern dangers of Facebook stalkers, Fowler’s characters explore all of the pleasures and pains of love, that “monster…forged from both hope and desire.” Fowler takes risks; each story is a spellbinding journey. I can’t think of a short story collection I’m more excited to recommend this year. less
Reviews (see all)
pinky87176
Heather Fowler is good, damn good. Follow her.
Chelsie
Loved this short story collection!
aisharabby
review to come
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