Drawing on the nostalgia of a nascent digital age and grappling with an eating disorder, indie cult author Elle Nash paints a realistic and poignant portrait of a teenager’s quest for self-identification on both sides of the computer screen. Using Livejournal entries, we meet our protagonist, in her messy transition into adulthood in the midst of grappling with calorie counts, boys, and being honest with who she is only online. Following up her cult fiction debut Animals Eat Each Other, Nash shows she belongs in the same camp along with exciting feminist literary disrupters the likes of Melissa Broder and Alissa Nutting.
It’s 2005. Lucy shambles through the last weeks of her senior year of high school, jonesing for a thinner body, desperate to connect with another human. Who is reflected back at her when she is sleeping with someone, when she is puking into the toilet bowl? Who is reflected back when she’s alone? Only the internet knows, where she muses on the concept of her “self” through her Livejournal, with a cadre of online friends who are definitely NOT pro-anorexic. Everyone’s sick here, but at least they understand.
“Relentlessly, whether the scene is a suburban home or an urban sex club, the aura of existential threat is borne.”—Entropy Magazine
Elle Nash is the author of Animals Eat Each Other (Dzanc Books/UK 404Ink) which was featured in the 2018 June Reading Room of O – The Oprah Magazine, and hailed by Publishers Weekly as a “complex, impressive exploration of obsession and desire.” Nudes (Short Flight/Long Drive Books/UK 404Ink) was hailed in The Rumpus as “like a merry-go-round for adults—one that moves so fast that it’s nauseating, and it’s as fun as it is stressful.” Stay tuned for Deliver Me (forthcoming 2023, Unnamed Press). She is a founding editor of Witch Craft Magazine where she hosts her annual writing workshop, Textures. Elle lives in Glasgow, Scotland where she draws blood by day and slays with the pen by night.
Pick up Gag Reflex from CLASHbooks, Bookshop.org, Barnes & Noble, or Amazon.
Find her on Twitter and Instagram @saderotica
This post may contain affiliate links. Further details, including how this supports the bizarro community, may be found on our disclosure page.