Everything Must Go
We take a look at the final nomination in La JohnJoseph’s words.
“Everything Must Go” is best summarized as an abstract howl of pain, disguised as a quest novel. It’s a transfeminist statement of intent, a black humoured, vitriolic, experimental piece of work, largely autobiographical, which I wrote to voice the indescribable horrors I saw inflicted on the people I love the most. Through a non-linear narrative (which is almost entirely self-defeating) our pregnant, teenage, transgender heroine, Diana, leaves home to fulfil a mission given to her by a grotesque plant which has swallowed her home. Yes, really. From there it gets very messy very quickly as a parade of iconic figures from cinema, history, the Bible and downtown reality appear and disappear, constantly diverting our heroine from the task at hand. It’s a sprawling, slim volume, the dense product of the internet age, giving no fixed weight to time or place, instead flipping from epoch and locale as one might skip between browser tabs. As such it offers a definite challenge to any reader bold enough to pick up a copy, but honors their commitment with a shower of richly woven imagery, violently funny set pieces, and an immensely original approach to language. If you’re a fan of Cathy Acker, Jean Genet, David Wojnarowicz, William Burroughs, Ronald Firbanks, Edith Sitwell, Karen Finley, or Angela Carter, this book will probably appeal to you. If you’re not, then may the Lord have mercy on your soul.
The Polari First Book Prize Winner will be announced this evening, 5 Oct, at the Royal Festival Hall. Everyone Must Go.