The Babysitter at Rest is a collection of stories inasmuch as Cerberus is a common household pooch: untamed and incantatory, a venom-spiked terror on four legs. Melding bawdy surrealism and queasy erotica, Jen George displays a knack for inverting the modern world with feverish, phantasmagoric intensity. This is a book that cracks open our collective insecurities and sucks out the marrow within. Recommended By Justin W., Powells.com
This is one of the weirdest books I've ever read. Its five stories feel like their own perverse little worlds — like Ben Marcus if he was rewriting Georges Bataille. The dialogue is bonkers, frequently jarring in its sexual torque. I'm not sure who Jen George is, but she'll be legendary if she keeps making books (or films or conceptual art!) like this. Recommended By Kevin S., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Fiction. Five stories--several as long as novellas--introduce the world to Jen George, a writer whose furiously imaginative new voice calls to mind Donald Barthelme and Leonora Carrington no less than Kathy Acker and Chris Kraus. In "Guidance/The Party," an ethereal alcoholic "Guide" in robes and flowing hair appears to help a thirty- three-year-old woman prepare a party for her belated adulthood; "Take Care of Me Forever" tragically lambasts the medical profession as a ship of fools afloat in loneliness and narcissism; "Instruction" chronicles a season in an unconventional art school called The Warehouse, where students divide their time between orgies, art critiques, and burying dead racehorses. Combining slapstick, surrealism, erotica, and social criticism, Jen George's sprawling creative energy belies the secret precision and unexpected tenderness of everything she writes.