Seeing Red by Lina Meruane (tr. Megan McDowell)

a nutshell: a short, graphic examination of a NY-based Chilean woman’s raw spiral into near-blindness and the resulting reorientation in dynamics with those around her*

a line: “A medusa, a jellyfish, an ocean flagellum, a gelatinous organism with tentacles that would cause a rash. There was no pulling my mother off of me”

an image: at one point the narrator describes a hot water bottle that had fallen to the floor as like a dead child, which typifies the blunt, unapologetic indignation quick to rise in the midst of the blindness

a thought: there were – when I could look – curious quirks throughout, e.g. the way Lina often truncates thoughts with a full stop, sometimes ending sentences abruptly with “I” or “we” – again perhaps a sign of her vexation

a fact: the author shares a first name with the protagonist and was herself temporarily blind when her eyes haemorrhaged and blood flooded her vision during her PhD at NYU – this novel is semi-autobiographical

 

want to read Seeing Red? visit here

*N.B. not for anyone with a particular squeamishness for eyes – a category which, by a stroke of bad luck, I fall v firmly into

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