I deliberately read this novel slowly. Easily devoured in a few hours, if this is the kind of writing you like, you don’t want it to end. Reading Die, My Love was like finding a voice you’ve heard calling at a distance out walking somewhere, in woods or at a crowded beach. It’s a voice that feels both deeply familiar and painfully new. It’s raw and wild and angry and filled with a passion and desire that is both recognisable and selfish. It is a voice that speaks what many dare not.
I love this kind of short, sharp book. There is so much echoing in each brief section that, despite the length, the feelings and experiences linger.
A woman has a child and doesn’t know how to shape her life around the new relationship, around what the child needs of her or what her partner needs of her. A foreigner in a rural landscape she is alien to everything and finds solace only in the red tooth of nature or in finding the man who lives down the road.
It is intense. She does enact the extremes of her feelings. She is sent off to a mental institution to find some sense of calm. But it is also funny and true to the strange way in which people’s feelings for each other exist on multiple levels.
Reading Die, My Love felt like finding a writer I wish I’d read before. How nice to have more of Ariana Harwicz to read. How thankful we should be to presses like Charco Press for gifting us translations of books written in languages we can’t read. Sarah Moses and Carolina Orloff have given this translation real power. I can’t wait to read more of Harwicz’s work.
I’ll be reading If I had your face by Frances Cha next.