Saturday, April 29, 2023

Six of the best books on desire

Sophie Mackintosh is the author of novels The Water Cure (2018), Blue Ticket (2020), and Cursed Bread (2023). The Water Cure was longlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize. Her fiction, non-fiction and poetry has appeared in The New York Times, Granta, Dazed, Guardian, and The Stinging Fly, among others. In 2020 she was picked as "a face set to define the decade ahead" by Vogue UK, alongside writers Jia Tolentino and Oyinkan Braithwaite.

At the Waterstones blog Mackintosh tagged six favorite "books that deal with themes of desire in all its manifold forms," including:
In the Cut by Susanna Moore

A novel that delves deeply into the darkest parts of desire, in Susanna Moore’s In the Cut violence and sex live side by side. From the first moment that narrator Franny witnesses an intimate scene she shouldn’t have, she is propelled into an ill-advised liaison with a laconic detective (who the reader never feels able to trust), and through him enters an increasingly seedy and unsafe world. It’s a novel that explores how desire can be entwined with danger, and how far someone can be prepared to give themselves up to that desire regardless. It also does a brilliant job of subverting the tropes and expectations of traditional crime novels, and of interrogating ideas of misogyny, as well as female agency and fragility.
Read about another entry on the list.

In the Cut is among Emily Temple's ten very scary books and Nicholas Royle's top ten lighthouses in fiction.

--Marshal Zeringue