And like all anger, it's impossible to synthesize or summarize; it loses everything in translation. I've spent months thinking about it nearly every day, and I've largely given up on trying to explain it. It's how you feel at your worst moments; it's less a book than a Molotov cocktail of a story. It will make you think of Acker, sure, but it's a different angel with a different harp. It's something only Kate Zambreno could have done, and it's brave and scared and indispensable.
John and I were driving home from the IKEA in Charlotte when I was sent it (such a cliched, coupled ritual, walking around the track of IKEA, mindlessly fingering little ceramic and plastic nothings, there should be a Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf set at such a homeware store, yesterday John and I so overtired and frayed and nervous about our new setting, we almost had a meltdown in The Container Store over the necessity of a mesh laundry bag that cost $5.99). I read it out loud to him on my phone and after every paragraph we both just started cackling, just laughter, it was pleased laughter, and nervous laughter, and incredulous laughter. It's such an incredible review. But to tell you something about my mind's process, my innate negativity, immediately I went to thoughts such as: Oh, no, maybe people won't like Green Girl, since it's the first novel I wrote, Green Girl, and less of a stylistic experiment than OFA. Seriously. That's what I thought of. Then a set of amused disbelief set in - the reading of the book is so wonderful but I cannot believe the accolades/comparisons for a moment! How could you? It's a funny thing, praise. I wonder what in my life makes it easier for me to accept criticism and failure than compliments (speaking of which, my deadline has been set for the essay book, mid-April, and I am internally resisting/flailing. Perhaps this review will give me some much needed self-confidence to actually convince myself I can write it. If I'm not writing here, this is what I will be doing. Or undoing, as it were. Undoing and Doing and Redoing).
(Also if you want to get O Fallen Angel for your very own self/home, please order it on Small Press Distribution! There's only one copy left on Amazon. Better to support the Davids, etc. Although I just placed a mammoth Amazon order for my book because I had now ordered books out of libraries, interlibrary loans for like two years now, but a lot of them were from used booksellers on Amazon! And absolutely none were small press books! Still I'm a whore. Don't be a whore like me!)