Read #152

Lauren Foley: Polluted Sex

Short stories – and poems and perhaps a short piece of drama and some diagrams – by this multi-award winning writer, Lauren Foley, who identifies as Irish/American, bisexual and disabled – the majority of her work is dictated.

Overall this is like being stood in a gale in the dark: repeatedly and unpredictably blasted off your feet by the sheer force – sometimes the chutzpah – of the thing, but then the sudden quiet, still moments are equally destabilising precisely because of all that has gone before.

I would describe it as a tour de force that is in the main, although not wholly, successful: some stories / pieces just didn’t click with me. Others blew me away. The sex is fast, short-breathed – the sentences short and panted – and compelling. Not all the pieces are about the act of sex, some explore the environment in which sex happens, or its aftermath – most memorably in the “play in one act”, “Hills Like Hemingway’s”, which tells of several unnamed women making the ferry trip from Dublin to Holyhead in search of terminations.

You get the feeling that this is Foley flexing muscles, and that you shouldn’t be at all surprised if, in five years or so, she is back with an award-winning novel.

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