Sarah Rose Etter cuts right to the heart (and gut) of complex emotions. Each narrative turn left me devastated, and the catharsis of the final pages left me floating for days after. This remarkable debut makes Etter an author to look out for. Plus, if you're into book design, Two Dollar Radio's books are among my favorites. Recommended By Kyan F., Powells.com
Surrealist, nightmarish, yet uncannily grounded in reality, Sarah Rose Etter's genre-busting debut novel is a visceral meditation on the fear and pain inherently sutured into womanhood. It devoured me as I devoured it, and I've been manifesting a Yorgos Lanthimos-directed/Independent Spirit Award-winning film adaptation ever since. Recommended By Mia V., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
A Best Book of 2019 Vulture
"Etter brilliantly, viciously lays bare what it means to be a woman in the world, what it means to hurt, to need, to want, so much it consumes everything." Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist
"I loved every page of this gorgeous, grotesque, heartbreaking novel." Carmen Maria Machado, author of Her Body and Other Parties
A surreal exploration of one woman's life and death against a landscape of meat, office desks, and bad men.
The Book of X tells the tale of Cassie, a girl born with her stomach twisted in the shape of a knot. From childhood with her parents on the family meat farm, to a desk job in the city, to finally experiencing love, she grapples with her body, men, and society, all the while imagining a softer world than the one she is in. Twining the drama of the everyday — school-age crushes, paying bills, the sickness of parents — with the surreal — rivers of thighs, men for sale, and fields of throats — Cassie's realities alternate to create a blurred, fantastic world of haunting beauty.
"At its heart, Etter's is a coming-of-age novel about difference, the female body, and the male gaze, but the author's surreal imagination and laser-precise prose make for an indelible read." Lit Hub, "5 Small Press Audiobooks To Give As Gifts This Year"
"With poetic prose and haunting honesty, The Book of X cuts clean to the tangled heart of femininity, unwinding one woman's story to reflect a familiar self." Foreword Reviews
"The Book of X is dizzying and grotesque — and I say that with the utmost love. It's an astute exploration of humanity and the body — specifically the female body — through the lens of young Cassie... Etter has built an eerie, surreal world... and she seduces you into it with dreamy lyricism. You won't want to leave." BuzzFeed News, '29 Summer Books To Get Excited About'
"Taut, macabre, with wounds electric, The Book of X will take your head off while staring dead-on into your eyes. Move over, Angela Carter, there's a new boss in the Meat quarry, and she is fearless, relentless, ready to feast." Blake Butler
About the Author
Sarah Rose Etter is the author of The Book of X (Two Dollar Radio, 2019) and Tongue Party (Caketrain Press, 2011). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Cut, Electric Literature, VICE, Guernica, Philadelphia Weekly, and more. She is the recipient of writing residencies at the Disquiet International Program in Portugal, and the Gullkistan Creative Program in Iceland. She earned her MFA from Rosemont College. She lives in San Francisco. You can find out more at sarahroseetter.com