Vendor
Cannell Agency
Published by
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2021-Spring)
Original language
English
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by South, Mary

Mary South's novel documents a world in which women are turning into common household objects, such as vacuums, microwave ovens, and flatscreen televisions. The novel's protagonist observes this process of transformation into the mundane while she works at a hospice for women of the 1%, where only the rich and the famous can receive adequate care while enduring such a painful and unusual change.

Through her work with the transforming and transformed, the nurse, whose own mother is turning into a television, bears witness and somehow also learns to more fully inhabit her own life. Conceived as Kazuo Ishiguro's NEVER LET ME GO meets J. G. Ballard's CRASH, with Katherine Dunn's GEEK LOVE mixed in, South's unsettling novel is an eerie and dark sendup of our first-world capitalist culture, where the consequences of our toxic habits and malignant carelessness are supernaturally manifested first upon the female body. Through its absurdist premise, it also mines the manner in which we cope with illness and our increasing reliance on immediate gratification and disposability.


Mary South is the author of the short story collection, You Will Never Be Forgot- ten, with FSG Originals. She is a graduate of Northwestern University and the MFA program in fiction at Columbia University. For many years, she has worked as an editor at the literary journal NOON. Mary is also a former intern in The New Yorker's fiction department and a Bread Loaf work-study fellow. Her writing has appeared in The Believer, BOMB, The Collagist, Conjunctions, Electric Literature, NOON, and Words Without Borders, and on NewYorker.com. The writer Maile Meloy awarded her story "Not Setsuko" an honorable mention in the Zoetrope: All Story fiction contest. She lives in New York City.

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