Friday 28 July 2023

Suture by Nic Brewer | Book Review

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Suture by Nic Brewer
My rating: 4/5
Publisher: Book*hug Press
Publication date: 21st September 2021

To make her films, Eva must take out her eyes and use them as batteries. 

To make her art, Finn must cut open her chest and remove her lungs and heart. 

To write her novels, Grace must use her blood to power the word processor. 

Suture shares three interweaving stories of artists tearing themselves open to make art. Each artist baffles their family, or harms their loved ones, with their necessary sacrifices. Eva's wife worries about her mental health; Finn's teenager follows in her footsteps, using forearms bones for drumsticks; Grace's network constantly worries about the prolific writer's penchant for self-harm, and the over-use of her vitals for art. 

The result is a hyper-real exploration of the cruelties we commit and forgive in ourselves and others.

This book is definitely not for the faint hearted but at the same time it is beautifully written. Told in three interwoven stories, the characters must give something for their art. Eva takes her eyes out to use as batteries for her camera, Grace writes with her blood and Finn removes her organs for creating works of art.

This is an interesting and literal take on the "putting your heart and soul into your work" phrase. The stories also focus on the flip side and how watching their loved ones do this to themselves affects their families. Eva's wife worries about Eva's mental health, the people closest to Grace worry that she is overdoing it and long after giving up cutting her chest and removing her lungs for art, Finn's teenager gets into music, using a bone from their arm as a drumstick. Finn then understands how her mother felt about her.

This is honestly not like anything I've ever read before. I loved it.

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