PEACH by Emma  Glass


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A young woman hyperviscerally experiences the aftermath of her rape.

On the first page of Glass’ slim debut novel, we meet Peach, a college student stumbling home in the dark after an apparent sexual assault. In truncated, lyrical language, Glass describes Peach scraping her knuckles along a wall, stopping to be sick, leaking blood from between her legs. In the hours and days that follow, the people in her life are largely oblivious to her clear distress—her sex-obsessed parents, her infant baby brother, her doting boyfriend, Green. As she deals with the aftermath of her assault, her perspective is badly warped: she believes her body, especially her belly, is distended and growing. She sees the people around her as food: her brother is a jelly baby (a British variation of a gummy bear), and she thinks of her science professor as Mr Custard, whose “limbs form from liquid.…Blobs. Brilliant yellow. Bold, now. Bubbling.” And she keeps catching glimpses—or are they hallucinations?––of Lincoln, her attacker, whom she sees as a sausage, greasy and fat, leering at her through windows or swinging from a streetlamp. As these visions turn into more direct threats, Peach realizes she has to take matters into her own hands before her attacker destroys everything she loves. Glass’ stylized writing owes a clear debt to James Joyce’s experimental prose, something she acknowledges in a note at the end of the book. Although that's a difficult effect to sustain across even a volume as slender as this one, Glass’ prose is capable of breathtaking deftness. And the writing is much more than a gimmick: the clipped sentences and obsessive repetitions provide a terrifying window into a freshly traumatized psyche.

With paragraphs that read like poems, this is a memorably crafted entry into the canon of revenge narratives.

Pub Date: Jan. 23rd, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-63557-130-1
Page count: 112pp
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2017


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