A brutal sexual attack has left Peach bleeding, bruised and traumatised. Her parents, too absorbed in each other and their new baby, notice nothing when she drags herself home and treats her bleeding wounds herself. In the following days Peach tries to return to normal life, but despite the routine of college and the safe, reassuring presence of her boyfriend, Green, she remains haunted by the terrifying memories, the nauseating smell of burning, stinking, fatty sausages while her parents, unaware, flaunt their joyful sex life. Her rapist sends her love letters, begins to stalk her. Wherever she looks, her attacker seems to be there, She cannot communicate what has happened to her, she cannot eat and her stomach swells obscenely as if possessed by phantom pregnancy. Green is attacked by the same man, who repeats Peach’s name as he batters him to the ground. Now only revenge can bring catharsis, but healing is another matter.
Crossing the borders between poetry and prose, pushing language to its limits, Emma Glass depicts almost forensically the psychological and physical damage of sexual violence, the shock and isolation it brings. By turns lyrical and visceral, lightened by touches of sly humour, deeply sensitive and horribly compelling, this is an astonishing, ground-breaking first novel.
'Peach by Emma Glass is a short and brutal tale of sexual assault and its resulting traumas that carries clear echoes of Eimear McBride ... The language is scintillating, the emotional heft remarkable.'
'Genre-defying and brilliantly surreal novella ... Barely 100 pages, and somewhere between poetry and prose, this is a book to be devoured in a single sitting. Glass is an exciting new author to know.'
'A visceral work … Glass uses fragmented, sensory language to evoke the lasting trauma of a sexual assault, from dissociative episodes to body dysmorphia. But for all its emotional insight, the book's boldest choice is its suspension between fantasy and reality.'
Bloomsbury Circus (2018)
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