Really Getting Rid of Me

Continuum Books' 33 1/3 series is a set of tiny volumes, each one focused on a remarkable record: In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, Court and Spark, Abba Gold. Many are the literary equivalent of a making-of DVD feature, with backstories, illuminated minor characters, and recording details to satisfy the Tape Op magazine nerds. Almost 50 have been published, and more are in the works, but only one is a work of fiction. Rid of Me: A Story, by Kate Schatz, is inspired by, not descriptive of, P.J. Harvey's Rid of Me. It tells the tale of two incredibly fucked-up women who passionately torture each other physically while gently tending to one another's emotional wounds. They run away to a dark forest and live in an abandoned cabin with dead bat babies for companionship. Sounds like Polly Jean, right? Schatz tells the story with voluptuous but never-purple language, and the experiment (of fiction) within the experiment (of the series) succeeds rather spectacularly.

 
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