Kristen Arnett: Mostly Dead Things

Recommended
This event is in the past
Tues July 23, 2019, 7 pm
Elliott Bay Book Company Capitol Hill (Seattle)
Free
Arnett amassed a large following, in part, for refusing to reveal the location of a lizard to 7-Eleven's corporate Twitter account because she didn't want to "narc" on her new reptilian friend. The only thing more Florida than that is her debut novel, Mostly Dead Things. This deeply weird and deeply queer novel begins with one of the most gorgeously and gorily rendered first chapters I've read. Jessa-Lynn Morton's father kills himself in his own taxidermy shop, leaving her to carry on the family business and to deal with the family's damage. Her mom's new habit doesn't appear to be helping. In response to the suicide, she has begun ripping up the inventory and transforming it into her art, which involves arranging the mounted animals into acrobatic sex positions and decorating them with ball gags and dildos. Arnett's literary elevation of the grotesque smartly embodies the primary philosophical question underlying the story. Jessa-Lynn and her father use honed craft and hard work to create pristine mounts of animals as they would have ideally appeared in the forest, while Jessa-Lynn's mother rips up all of that work and shows the animals mid-coitus, with all the blood and guts and tooth and claw of life that repulses and weirdly attracts us. by Rich Smith

Elliott Bay Book Company

1521 10th Ave Seattle, WA 98122 Venue website