Register Sunday | July 21 | 2019

The Summer 2019 Book Room

Featured Book

A town built on an underground lake is ruled brutally by a cruel Chancellor—but the surreal setting feels a little too familiar to be called dystopian. I Become a Delight to My Enemies (Strange Light), a prose-poetry hybrid by Sara Peters, sketches a portrait of women who live and die under the reign of a dictator. We meet Zeyna, who scarred herself as a child to avoid his gaze, and Harriet, who is forced into becoming the Town’s mystic. Peters uses a range of forms to evoke life under oppression. She blends the magical and the mundane—the Town has a convenience store and also an Oracle—to convey that trauma can be both unbelievable and banal. Save for a very funny epilogue, the tone occasionally becomes a bit one-note, but Peters is a talented lyricist. She expertly explores how survival can necessitate becoming unbodied, like ...

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