Dark, poetic prose: Peach by Emma Glass
Peach is a visceral book about a girl who has been assaulted, written in an unforgettably immediate style. Peach comes home bloody and plagued by the smell of meat, but her parents are too preoccupied with their new baby to ask the right questions. She goes to college to see her boyfriend Green, but still nothing is right. Her body is wrong. Glass uses a distinctive style written in sharp immediacy to show Peach’s thoughts and actions after she is attacked.
This short novel is an exercise in darkly poetic prose that takes a difficult subject and inhabits the trauma of the experience. At times it is so visceral that it is painful to read and its depiction of the aftermath of sexual assault and the mental processes of the main character mean that any reader needs to be aware of this content before reading, but it is also carefully done, with a skilful use of minimal words and descriptions of physical sensations and sounds. It has similarities to books like Eimear McBride’s The Lesser Bohemians, but far more condensed, focused on detail and spanning a short space of time. Every word feels like an attack or relief in this impressively written book that depicts a terrible subject in an emotive and haunting way.