Shulamith Firestone: Airless Spaces (1998)

5 July 2020, dusan

“A collection of short stories, set among the disappeared and darkened sectors of New York City, about characters who fall prey to an increasingly bureaucratized poverty.

In 1970, at the age of twenty-five, Shulamith Firestone wrote and published The Dialectic of Sex, immediately becoming a classic of second wave feminism across the world to this very day. It was one of the few books that dared to look at how radical feminism could and should shape the future; and one whose predictions (the cybernetic revolution, for example) proved startlingly prescient of issues today.

Airless Spaces, Firestone’s work of fiction, is a collection of short stories written by Firestone as she found herself drifting from the professional career path she’d been on and into what she describes as a new “airless space.” These deadpan stories, set among the disappeared and darkened sectors of New York City, are about losers who fall prey to an increasingly bureaucratized poverty and find themselves in an out of (mental) hospitals. But what gives characters such as SCUM-Manifesto author Valerie Solanas their depth and charge, is their the small crises that trigger an awareness that they’re in trouble.”

Publisher Semiotext(e), New York, 1998
Native Agents series
ISBN 1570270821, 9781570270826
160 pages

Reviews: Sianne Ngai (Arcade, 2012), Sands Murray-Wassink (2014).
Commentary: Susan Faludi (The New Yorker, 2013).

Publisher
Distributor
WorldCat

EPUB

Elvia Wilk: Oval (2019)

7 May 2020, dusan

“In the near future, Berlin’s real estate is being flipped in the name of “sustainability,” only to make the city even more unaffordable; artists are employed by corporations as consultants, and the weather is acting strange. When Anja and Louis are offered a rent-free home on an artificial mountain–yet another eco-friendly initiative run by a corporation–they seize the opportunity, but it isn’t long before the experimental house begins malfunctioning.

After Louis’s mother dies, Anja is convinced he has changed. At work, Louis has become obsessed with a secret project: a pill called Oval that temporarily rewires the user’s brain to be more generous. While Anja is horrified, Louis believes he has found the solution to Berlin’s income inequality. Oval is a fascinating portrait of the unbalanced relationships that shape our world, as well as a prescient warning of what the future may hold.”

Publisher Soft Skull, New York, 2019
ISBN 9781593764050, 1593764057
pages

Reviews: Katy Waldman (New Yorker, 2019), Angelica Frey (Hyperallergic, 2019), Michael Friedrich (LA Review of Books, 2019), Jason Sheehan (NPR, 2019), Yvonne C. Garrett (Brooklyn Rail, 2019), Will Preston (Full Stop, 2019), Alex Ronan (Nation, 2019), Stan Portus (C Magazine, 2020).

Publisher
WorldCat

HTML

McKenzie Wark: Reverse Cowgirl (2020)

7 May 2020, dusan

“Another genre for another gender.

What if you were trans and didn’t know it? What if there were some hole in your life and you didn’t even know it was there? What if you went through life not knowing why you only felt at home in your body at peak moments of drugs and sex? What if you expended your days avoiding an absence, a hole in being? Reverse Cowgirl is not exactly a memoir. The author doesn’t, in the end, have any answers as to who she really is or was, although maybe she figures out what she could become.

Traveling from Sydney in the 1980s to New York today, Reverse Cowgirl is a comedy of errors, chronicling the author’s failed attempts at being gay and at being straight across the shifting political and media landscapes of the late twentieth century. Finding that the established narratives of being transgender don’t seem to apply to her, Wark borrows from the genres of autofiction, fictocriticism, and new narrative to create a writing practice that can discover the form of a life outside existing accounts of trans experience: an auto-ethnography of the opacity of the self.”

Publisher Semiotext(e), South Pasadena, CA, 2020
Native Agents series
ISBN 9781635901184, 1635901189
199 pages

Reviews: J Inscoe (Rhizomes, 2020), Ondřej Trhoň (Revue Prostor, 2020, CZ).

Interviews with author: Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore (BOMB, 2020), Juliet Jacques (Frieze, 2020), Esmé Hogeveen (Hazlitt, 2020).

Distributor
WorldCat

PDF