O Fallen Angel (Paperback)
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Fiction. O FALLEN ANGEL is a triptych of modern-day America set in a banal Midwestern landscape, inspired by Francis Bacon's Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion. There is "Mommy," a portrait of housewife psychosis, cruelly and crudely drawn, fenced in by her own small mind. There is "Maggie," Mommy's unfortunate daughter whom she infects with fairytales, a Dora stuffed numb with pills, a casualty of gender roles and the DSM-IV. Then there is the mysterious martyr-figure Malachi, a Cassandra in army fatigues, the Septimus Smith to Mommy's Mrs. Dalloway, who stands at the foot of the highway holding signs of fervent prophecy, gaping at the bottomless abyss of the human condition, while SUVs scream past. Kate Zambreno's O FALLEN ANGEL commits an act of anarchic literary sacrilege that calls to mind the rant and rage of an American Elfriede Jelinek, an exorcism of the culture wars and pop-cultural debris, a sneering indictment of deaf ears, blind eyes, and mute mouths.