Viola Di Grado, Jamie Richards
An electrifying descent from loneliness and grief into obsessive, all-consuming love, by an Italian literary star.
‘When Xu bites me, when she has me in her teeth, naked and bad on top of me, everything is good.’
In a skyscraper apartment overlooking Shanghai’s blue-tinged, pulsating nightlife and filled with rotting food, two women swallow little yellow pills that will make all things dangerous feel safe. They’re both running from a turbulent past.
In abandoned factories and dilapidated slaughterhouses, Xu pushes Ruben to extremes of pleasure and pain that she has never experienced before, to a place where language breaks down and passion becomes consumption.
Blue Hunger asks how we create our identities and how we escape them; it is a fever-dream of a novel, visionary and uncanny, that demolishes all taboos and wisely explores, in a wildly imaginative language, the twisted peaks of loss and desire.
'To read Blue Hunger is to enter a dreamlike state, guided by irresistible, evocative writing, immaculate details, and vivid emotions dripping with desire. Viola Di Grado offers us a brilliant, highly immersive story about the need to consume and be consumed, love, messiness, and the power of language. Blue Hunger is a wholly compelling piece of art, and Viola Di Grado is a genius.' -- Jami Attenberg, author of The Middlesteins 'Viola Di Grado is, most importantly, a powerful and original writer; the fact that she also writes, movingly and with complexity, about members of the LGBT population, renders her work all the more singular.' -- Michael Cunningham, author of The Hours 'Blue Hunger is a devastating study of the ways in which grief renders everything, even the self, foreign. A gorgeous grotesquerie of lust and despair backdropped by the writhing rhythms of Shanghai.' -- Rachel Yoder, author of Nightbitch 'Di Grado is a real writer, so everything under the spell of her words is vibrant and evocative. Blue Hunger, a prose poem and a fearless descent into language and the realm of meanings, is about our experience in the acidic lights of the contemporary world.' -- FIlippo La Porta * La Repubblica * 'Sticky, neon, and electric, Blue Hunger drips with desire, danger, and hunger in myriad forms.' -- Jessica Andrews, author of Saltwater Blue Hunger's is a disorientating world made strange by grief - a world where words have lost their meaning, and identity fragments. In luminous and startling prose, Viola Di Grado lays bare the risk inherent in human relationships, the capacity we have to inflict and enjoy pain as well as pleasure, and the disassembling power of grief. Bold and addictive, this is a carnal, sensual, drug-and-sex-infused trip of a novel. -- Imogen Crimp, author of A Very Nice Girl Praise for Hollow Heart: 'A danse macabre for the millenials ... In Hollow Heart, Di Grado elegantly and playfully thematises the emptiness of unquestioned vessels of meaning (which is to say, words) with the story of a girl who has taken her own life before she has even really lived it.' * LA Review of Books * Praise for Hollow Heart: 'The writing is pristine. Each sentence lures us further into the flies and blood-filled spirals of Di Grado's dreamworld and, most importantly, we are willing to follow her.' * The Independent * Praise for 70% Acrylic 30% Wool: '[Di Grado's] black comedy, pungent metaphors, and controlled ambiguity announce the arrival of a considerable talent.' * Times Literary Supplement * Praise for 70% Acrylic 30% Wool: 'Viola Di Grado's charming prose romps through chthonic worlds of nibbling insects, ammoniac seepage, and shattering depression, using language that is both glib and scrumptious.' * Music & Literature *
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