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15/01/2020 12:45:55  

Carmen Maria Machado’s book is a tour de force. In writing into the silence, she regains her power

“Memory itself is a form of architecture”: the American writer Carmen Maria Machado quotes Louise Bourgeois at the beginning of this book. How then do we pile up the bricks that we need to make a house? A “dream house” at that. And what if the dream house is no longer where you feel safe? What language do you use as the dreams start to crumble and you feel you are disintegrating and disgusting? Once you were an object of desire and a desiring subject, and now you are nothing. You can only speak one language – “the language of giving yourself up”.

This is a memoir about abuse, a book that speaks into the silence of abuse between queer women (“domestic abuse”, as it’s ineptly called). Sometimes the author uses “lesbian”, sometimes “queer”, but most of the work and activism she references is that of out lesbian writers.

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