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“It is always, still, even in 2016, refreshing to see a sexually enthusiastic mother represented in fiction, and Johanne is certainly that. The flatness of the text messages, the straightforwardness of each statement, and the lack of description highlight these two aspects of her character, refusing to let them melt into the background of her life. But the coincidence of sexual enthusiasm and maternal affection alone does not make an interesting character. In fact, sexual mothers should by now be utterly mundane.”
“In terms of literary device, these pieces are ekphrastic, a word that means to describe a piece of art. Each poem — disguised as prose, several pages long, in paragraph form — takes a different artwork or artist as its starting point. But though these pieces are born of visual work, they don’t describe it. Description looks at but remains distant from. It’s more like they step into the work, weave themselves with it. These poems are not “about” the art any more than translation is “about” its original. I couldn’t tell you what the originals look like. But I can tell you how they feel.”