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Mush

by Kathleen Bryson

After a not-so-gentle start with childhood in small-town Alaska, this will side-swipe you into psychological damage and lesbian subculture with a force that left me reeling. I still don't know if the characterisation is consistent, but it has a truly cathartic tragic downward inevitability.

Extract

I remembered the lake in summer. I could only get this wet, as wet as the lake, when I was expecting something I never got. The anticipation of a mutually agreed captivity. The moment before the cuffs embrace me. On top of waters. Not such a good feeling to be this brittle and prone to breakage, but I didn't know much else. I didn't want the good parts in me any more, I wanted them broken off. She wanted them broken off. The passing of time does a lot to cover up the little pains.

Parallels

What the Birds See by Sonya Hartnett
Lara by Bernardine Evaristo
Othello by William Shakespeare
 

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