We always think that bad things can’t happen in our country. But they do.
In a dawn raid, Kate is arrested. She is imprisoned, beaten, kept awake and tortured.
They approached me with their waistlines above the level of my body. They made me notice their excitement. Not only that, but they used me as a spittoon.
Trying to retain her sense of self, she invents stories and writes poems in her head, using them as a shield against her assailants.
This novel explores ideas around perception: how is it we take in or ignore what is in front of us? Like the conundrum of dark matter that is both enormous yet unperceived and hard even for physicists to measure, how is it possible to ignore the many lesbians who are tortured and never get to read about them?
Susan Hawthorne’s dark story uncovers the hidden histories of organised violence against lesbians. She traces fear and uncertainty, and finds a narrative of resilience created through the writing of poems. The author asks: how do we pass on stories hidden by shame and resistance to shame? A novel that is both poetic and terrifying.
Dark Matters—contemporary, lesbian, and literary.
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