“In literature there’s a perversely refreshing counteroffensive of odiferous refuseniks, a burgeoning genre you could call Repulsive Realism,” writes Hillary Kelly for Vulture. “The pioneer and reigning queen of this trendlet is Ottessa Moshfegh.” Kelly goes on to look at other “Repulsive Realism” reads, such as the recent Halle Butler novel, The New Me, and Melissa Broder’s The Pisces, books in which bad sex and unwashed armpits run rampart and “the characters manufacture their own mire and swim around in it [and] rebel against the packaging of femininity and the oppression of the lacquered image.”
Recommended (Revolutionary) Reading: On why Kate Millett’s Sexual Politics remains so relevant to today’s most heated literary arguments, despite its being nearly fifty years old at this point.
Recommended Reading: The Paris Review has put its Zadie Smith short story “Miss Adele Amidst the Corsets” online. “New York just expects so much from a girl—acts like it can’t stand even the idea of a wasted talent or opportunity. And Miss Adele had been around.”
Penelope Fitzgerald has been getting a lot of attention lately, largely due to Hermione Lee‘s newest biography. In an article for the Paris Review, Bridget Read considers the impact a better understanding of Fitzgerald’s life could have on her modern reputation, and argues that “it is not extraordinary that she became a prize-winning novelist, though you may have heard otherwise. … It is vital to emphasize that Fitzgerald’s novels were not achieved in spite of her domestic life; they were borne directly out of it. Her work is radical in that it suggests that, in fact, a feminine experience, a liminal experience, might be better equipped than a male one to address the contradictions of human existence taken up by the greatest literature.”
Chuck Palahniuk dropped big news at San Diego’s Comic Con last week: he’s currently working on a follow-up to Fight Club… in the form of a graphic novel. “It will likely be a series of books that update the story ten years after the seeming end of Tyler Durden,” he told attendees. “It will, of course, be dark and messy.”