We at The Lifted Brow & Brow Books shared our favourite reads of 2019. Here’s mine:
Rita Indiana’s slender, ambitious Tentacle, translated from the Spanish by Achy Obejas, left me reeling. I’m still grieving the protagonist’s final decision. It’s a restless, explosive riot of a novel not for the fainthearted. In post-apocalyptic Santo Domingo, sex-worker-turned-maid Acilde must become the man she always was and travel back in time to save the ocean from ruin with the help of a sacred anemone. It’s a syncretic mashup of sexuality, gender, climate change, santería, destiny, class, race, technology and art (yes, all that!), delivered by way of a punk aesthetic and a demanding narrative style. I love what Indiana does with time and perspective. Switches between eras that happen in the same paragraph are signalled only subtly. It’s a dizzying experience at first, but as you start to comprehend who, exactly, is simultaneously living out another life in their mind, the reading becomes addictive, electric. The final two pages are stunning.
You can see the rest of the TLB team’s pics at the Lifted Brow site.