Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Five novels about destructive romantic friendships

Micah Nemerever was trained as an art historian. He wrote his master’s thesis on queer identity and gender anxiety in the art of the Weimar Republic. He is an avid home chef and amateur historian of queer cinema.

After studying in rural Connecticut and Austin, Texas, he now resides in the Pacific Northwest.

These Violent Delights is his first novel.

At CrimeReads, Nemerever tagged "five books [that] invite the reader to surrender again to the intoxication of a destructive relationship, and to follow it to a nightmarishly logical end," including:
The Lightness by Emily Temple

“You should not, under any circumstances, expect me to be the hero of this story.” The protagonist of The Lightness, Olivia, makes it clear from the start that she is aware of her own culpability. In a narrative voice as elusive and unreliable as memory itself, The Lightness immerses the reader in a toxic obsession that its protagonist is all too eager to embrace. Early on in her stay at a therapeutic Buddhist summer school program, Olivia is pulled into the orbit of her magnetic classmate Serena, a self-styled mystic determined to achieve transcendence through human flight. Serena’s friends are acolytes as much as companions, and Olivia participates without question in the group’s increasingly esoteric endurance tests and devotionals. But Olivia’s motives are more complex than loyalty or faith. She yearns less to remake herself in Serena’s image because it would be a way of absorbing her—Olivia’s attraction to her is an unbroken synthesis of wanting and wanting to be. Her idolization of Serena is possessive and greedy, and Olivia asserts an insidious influence over her friend that throws their power dynamic into constant doubt.
Read about another entry on the list.

My Book, The Movie: The Lightness.

The Page 69 Test: The Lightness.

--Marshal Zeringue