IN PRINT & AT PEACH:
Yesterday at Peach we featured three poems from Toronto-based writer and filmmaker Sennah Yee’s debut collection of poetry and nonfiction, How Do I Look?, out now from Metatron Press. In the cinematic vignettes of How Do I Look?, Yee finds poetry in Grand Theft Auto sunsets, pink pixel nipples, popstars, webcams, and a girl’s first piece of lingerie. Her prose, which seems greatly influenced by her background in film, captures the magic of whole plots in just a few short lines. Her transitions move like cut shots—her imagery, like montages. How Do I Look? is ultimately a book about a woman of color growing up in a world of avatars and Snapchat filters, and it challenges everything from internalized racism and heteronormativity to fetishization and men in film school. It’s a book about gazes; there’s the sentiment of not only looking and being looked at, but also of invisibility and alienation within that looking. In “And After All, You’re My Wonderwall,” Yee writes, “During my MSN days, I felt prettier looking at a webcam than looking at a mirror. Looking at myself look at myself being looked at.” How Do I Look? is a thrilling debut that takes the pulse of some of the most toxic silent killers that face young women today.
“An astrologer emailed me to say she had important news for me concerning events in my immediate future.” The opening line of Rachel Cusk’s second novel, Transit, could hook anyone, and what follows will keep the most discerning of readers absorbed in narrator Faye’s life as a new divorcee and resident of a new city with her two young sons. Faye travels through London listening to people’s stories of defeat, isolation, and longing for transition. As more of a listener, we learn more about the people that she finds than we do about her: “I had found out more, I said, by listening than I has ever thought possible.” Cusk masterfully weaves the tales of these people that she has happened upon and creates a brilliant quilt-like narrative from pieces of other people’s lives.
Peach Picks is a column of literary news and recommendations written by the editors of Peach Mag, an online literary magazine based in Buffalo. For inquiries, contact the editors at email@example.com.