Monica Shores: The Last Book I Loved, Madeleine is Sleeping


imagedb-2My assertion is that you will not have read a novel quite like Madeleine is Sleeping because I hadn’t, until I read it. A young girl jerks off the local idiot and so her hands are burned in a pot of lye, turning her into a traveling freak who eventually uses her “paddles” to spank a flatulent man for a widow’s entertainment; or the same girl lies in her home surrounded by siblings and a vaguely concerned mother who cannot make her daughter wake. Bynum’s sentences are precise and compact (“Beatrice is enraptured by rules, especially those of her own making”) and the world they create operates with such inarguable dream logic that even a fat, flying woman is a plausible character in both the sleeping and waking realms. It’s a lovely, surprising book.

Monica Shores is an editor for and regular contributor to $pread magazine. Her writing has appeared also appeared on Boinkology, Popmatters, Alternet, and Feminist Review. More from this author →