Equal parts academic and personal, The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson is a study of gender, motherhood, queer theory, and the vessels we all become through love and damage. The descriptions of falling in love in this book destroyed me, in a good way.
For a similarly brutal and perspicacious take on bodies and love, seek out novelist Jenn Ashworth’s first non-fiction book, Notes Made While Falling, published by Goldsmiths Press this October. Both of these works experiment with linear narratives, revealing – on a small scale in their sentences and in the bigger form of their arcs – their authors’ desire to take the female/queer love story away from patriarchal structures.
I just finished Jade Sharma’s novel Problems, and I can’t believe more people aren’t raving about it. Maya has a husband, a lover and a raging heroin addiction. Just your classic love triangle. It’s not the kind of redemption story you might expect and really cracks open the daily inner monologue of a smart woman doing dumb things. Stretching and pinning a marriage wide open, Sharma writes with a fearless rigour. Shades of Jennifer Egan and Katherine Heiny abound in this dark and raucous debut – but the style is so fresh it makes even the word modern seem old.
• The film adaptation of Emma Jane Unsworth’s novel Animals will be released in the UK later this year.