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Unlikable, irredeemable female narrators have long been underrepresented in mainstream fiction, yet Moshfegh and Broder do fall into a lineage of women authors like Kathy Acker and Chris Kraus who have written about difficult, transgressive women.The publishing outfit Emily Books has also spent the last seven years working hard to bring an entire catalog of fiction and nonfiction authors who write about about similarly difficult women to a general audience.These authors mainly focus on women who break taboos by not striving to be better. They’re not trying to learn anything or evolve to become proper heroines; they simply are who they are: terribly flawed, weak, unhappy, angry.
There have always been characters who enrich us by being terrible.
While self-help and wellness culture may be a .7 trillion industry, the narrators of these books don’t buy the idea that it will save us.
At a time when modern-day women are encouraged to use skin care as a coping mechanism, to do detoxes and cleanses, to cry at Soul Cycle, that these characters choose such bizarre, disconcerting ways of coping is in itself a rebellious act.
Theo, with his proper male appendages hanging just above his tail, sure seems like a good catch to Lucy: “After all the nothingness, maybe this fantasy was worth living for.
I suppose that whenever you’re addicted to something, this is what they mean when they say you forget about the consequences and don’t care about the other side.