• Johanna Kompacher

I love the nakedness of you

Paula Bomer, "Inside Madeleine" - Stories. 2014, Soho Press

Paula Bomer's writing is 100% up my alley. It's straight-forward, seemingly bare and inornate, but orchestrated by an underlying rhythm. It is the melody of her words that make them such a joy to read. For her plots, indeed, are not the most original ones: In "Inside Madeleine", we come across a similar sort of young woman in several of the stories. The dynamics are rarely surprising. What is surprising is Bomer's unblushing handling of female bodies and sexuality. The title-story is a celebration of the unabashed girl and a physicality for which no excuses are made. Reading each and every one of Bomer's short stories made me feel as if I was in a room with that girl, that woman, and she was looking me straight in the eye, daring me to feel disgusted. I didn't, honey. I wanted more of you.

(mirrored via goodreads.com)


The image in this post contains both the collection's cover (in pink); and an artwork titled "Holy Icons" by Brooklyn-based artist Suzanne Santoro currently exhibited at mumok Vienna. I do like the parallel - Bomer's girls and women mostly based in the city where Santoro created this feminist artwork in 1971. The self-confidence and worship of the female genitalia that both have embraced, no coyness or taboo.

Holy Icons

(c) Suzanne Santoro 1971

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