By Katherine Dunn
A special twenty-fifth anniversary edition of Katherine Dunn's extraordinary cult classic, with a new introduction by the author.
Lil Binewski, born a Boston aristocrat, was in her time the most stylish of geeks. That is to say she made her living by biting the heads off live chickens in front of a carnival audience. This she gave up for doting motherhood, because she and her fairground-owning husband had a money spinning idea. Throughout each pregnancy Lil gobbles pesticides, experiments with drugs and douses herself with radiation to ensure that she prodcues infants grotesque enough to keep the turnstiles clicking. She does.
Arturo the Aqua Boy is a limbless megalomaniac, Electra and Iphigenia are musically gifted Siamese twins with a penchant for prostitution and Fortunato is possessed of stange telekinetic powers. Their story- by turns shocking, tender, touching and cruel- is narrated by their sister Olympia. She is a bald, hunchbacked, albino dwarf.
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- Publication date:
01 Nov 1990
- Page count:
I felt electrocuted when I read that first page with Crystal Lil and her freak brood. I stood there in the bookstore and my jaw came unhinged. No book I've read, before or since, has given me that specific jolt — Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia
The most romantic novel about love and family I have read. It made me ashamed to be so utterly normal — Terry Gilliam
If Flannery O'Connor has consumed vast quantities of LSD, she might have written like this. — LITERARY REVIEW
A book of bizarre and brutal beauty, guaranteed to wring from you horror and heartbreak by turns... — COMPANY
Riveting and extremely well-crafted. There's a real philosophy behind it where it actually touches on the profound. — MARGARET FORSTER
A novel that everyone will be talking about, a brilliant, suspenseful, heartbreaking tour de force. — PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY