You are concerned for my sake, which I appreciate,
you think you understand, but finally you don’t. Because you can’t.
— Lucy Lurie in JM Coetzee’s Disgrace
Reluctance. That is what I felt approaching Fiona Snyckers’s latest novel, Lacuna. Only after the third attempt did I manage to get beyond the second sentence of the first chapter: “My vagina is a lacuna that my attackers filled with their penises.” I eventually continued when asked to review the novel. And boy, am I glad that I did!
Lacuna is the story of Lucy Lurie, a fictional woman who shares a name with one of the main characters in Disgrace (published exactly two decades ago in 1999). It is a feminist “reply”, for want of a better word, to JM Coetzee’s most famous — or infamous (depending on one’s reading) — novel.
Why my reluctance to read Lacuna? It’s complicated. But let me try to explain…
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