In a kind of Catherine Millet meets Roland Barthes baring of life with hints of the work of Chris Kraus, Sludge Utopia by Catherine Fatima is an auto-fictional novel about sex, depression, family, shaky ethics, ideal forms of life, girlhood, and coaching oneself into adulthood under capitalism.
Using her compulsive reading as a lens through which to bring coherence to her life, twenty-five-year-old Catherine engages in a series of sexual relationships, thinking that desire is the key to a meaningful life. Yet, with each encounter, it becomes more and more clear: desire has no explanation; desire bears no significance.
From an intellectual relationship with a professor, a casual sexual relationship, to a serious love affair, to a string of relationships that takes Catherine from Toronto to France and Portugal and back again, Sludge Utopia presents, in highly examined, raw detail, the perspective of a young woman’s punishing though intermittently gratifying sexuality and profound internalized misogyny, which causes her to bring all of life’s events under sexuality’s prism.
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Catherine Fatima is a writer who was born, raised and currently lives in Toronto. Sludge Utopia is her first book.
Published: August 2019
Originally published by Book*hug
"A feisty, complex, and award-winning first novel." —Booklist
"This ambitious and vastly entertaining first novel follows four generations of a troubled Chinese-Canadian family through its gradual and often painful assimilation and eventual disintegration . . . The lively, often riotous spirit of Disappearing Moon Cafe is never lost in the epic sprawl. This is a moving, deeply human tale about the high price of assimilation, the loneliness of being of two cultures but no longer really belonging to either and the way in which the sordid secrets of the past can cast long, tragic shadows . . . If Gabriel Garcia Marquez had been Canadian-Chinese, and a woman, A Hundred Years of Solitude might have come out a little bit like this." — Washington Post Book World