Selah Saterstrom's The Meat and Spirit Plan
Coffee House Press' PR kit for The Meat and Spirit Plan uses the word "searing" to describe this unusual coming-of-age story set in Scotland and the the southern town of Beau Repose, and for once I can't argue with a publicist. Selah Saterstrom's novel will, in fact, sear the hair off your head and leave you muttering "wow" more than once. Composed of short, darkly muscular chapters, The Meat and Spirit Plan has no fat on it at all. The intense and sometimes cryptic scenes featuring our sometimes strung-out heroine are often so personal and revealing that we begin to feel we're reading a truly original novel. When Katherine Dunn, author of the classic Geek Love, writes about the book that it's "ferocious and dazzling, the work of a savage poet," each scene "a hard polished gem of raunch and revelation," she's not kidding. Definitely recommended. It makes me want to check out her previous novel, The Pink Institution.