The Book of X (Paperback)
This book captures the harsh realities of being a woman in a world designed to beat us down. Cassie is born with a knot in her torso, just like her mother and her mother's mother, but she just wants to be normal. Her coming-of-age tale alternates between the relative normalcy of first crushes and first jobs, and the grotesque magic of her world (rivers of thighs, meat quarries, rock diets). Cassie's tenuous sense of worth is shattered when she survives a traumatic experience. She lives the rest of her days struggling to find love, validation, and peace with her body,and envisions an alternate reality in which she is confident and flat-bellied and those around her are kind and gentle. Both heartbreaking and genre-breaking.— Kiwi
*A Best Book of 2019 --Molly Young, Vulture
"Etter brilliantly, viciously lays bare what it means to be a woman in the world, what it means to hurt, to need, to want, so much it consumes everything." --Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist
"I loved every page of this gorgeous, grotesque, heartbreaking novel." --Carmen Maria Machado, author of Her Body and Other Parties
A surreal exploration of one woman's life and death against a landscape of meat, office desks, and bad men.
The Book of X tells the tale of Cassie, a girl born with her stomach twisted in the shape of a knot. From childhood with her parents on the family meat farm, to a desk job in the city, to finally experiencing love, she grapples with her body, men, and society, all the while imagining a softer world than the one she is in. Twining the drama of the everyday -- school-age crushes, paying bills, the sickness of parents -- with the surreal -- rivers of thighs, men for sale, and fields of throats -- Cassie's realities alternate to create a blurred, fantastic world of haunting beauty.
About the Author
Sarah Rose Etter is the author of The Book of X (Two Dollar Radio, 2019) and Tongue Party (Caketrain Press, 2011). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Cut, Electric Literature, VICE, Guernica, Philadelphia Weekly, and more. She is the recipient of writing residencies at the Disquiet International Program in Portugal, and the Gullkistan Creative Program in Iceland. She earned her MFA from Rosemont College. She lives in San Francisco. You can find out more at sarahroseetter.com