I’d lick my lips, slowly, letting my pink tongue dangle out of my black mouth a little just like some animal waiting by the side of the road for the driver who killed it to come back one more time and kill it again
This collection is stitched together with muscle, sinew, and blood. Samantha Hunt writes in a way that tears apart beautiful language and forces you to read the story through twisted entrails like a time-forgotten seer. The tales are modern in theme and in structure; our narrators – almost all female – roil in the same fears and anxieties that have plagued us since we first crawled out of the mud, but we can read now through the lens of what it means to exist as a woman today. Each story is wrought with desire; you can taste it in the air while you breathe. The desire to escape, the desire to be touched, the desire to be left alone and to stay safe. These tales are spooky and nasty, but something compels you to keep reading. You have to see each story through it’s metamorphosis. We watch the dead come alive, the human become animal, the real become magic, and the body become foreign before charging backwards through these changes in reverse.
At the heart of all of these stories is an actual beating heart laid bare on a table while a narrator pokes at it with a stick. It is probably the narrator’s own heart, split open and pinned wide for all to look into. A woman’s body and the power within it is a truly remarkable thing. Samantha Hunt put it best:
My body’s coursing with secret genes and hormones and proteins. My body made eyeballs and I have no idea how. There’s nothing simple about eyeballs. My body made food to feed those eyeballs. How? And how can I not know or understand the things that happen inside my body? That seems very dangerous. There’s nothing simple here. I’m ruled by elixirs and compounds. I am a chemistry project conducted by a wild child. I am potentially explosive.