In a kind of Catherine Millet meets Roland Barthes baring of life with hints of the work of Chris Kraus, Sludge Utopia by Catherine Fatima is an auto-fictional novel about sex, depression, family, shaky ethics, ideal forms of life, girlhood, and coaching oneself into adulthood under capitalism.
Using her compulsive reading as a lens through which to bring coherence to her life, twenty-five-year-old Catherine engages in a series of sexual relationships, thinking that desire is the key to a meaningful life. Yet, with each encounter, it becomes more and more clear: desire has no explanation; desire bears no significance.
From an intellectual relationship with a professor, a casual sexual relationship, to a serious love affair, to a string of relationships that takes Catherine from Toronto to France and Portugal and back again, Sludge Utopia presents, in highly examined, raw detail, the perspective of a young woman's punishing though intermittently gratifying sexuality and profound internalized misogyny, which causes her to bring all of life's events under sexuality's prism.
Praise for Sludge Utopia:
"Few recent novels have absorbed me so completely, and filled me with this kind of plain admiration: here is a fresh mind, a captivating voice, and analytical acuity. It leaves me feeling as though I had discovered a female, 21st century Henry Miller for all its unfiltered engagement in the raw and the real." —Sheila Heti, author of Motherhood and How Should a Person Be?
"This is a smart, frequently rewarding novel interested in abstraction, relations of power and understanding and contrasted with real sensations and feelings: sex, orgasm, touching, kissing, losing, loneliness, anxiety, etc." —Guillaume Morissette, author of The Original Face and