Introducing a dazzling new literary voice--a wholly original novel as groundbreaking as the works of Eimear McBride and Max Porter.
Something has happened to Peach. Staggering around the town streets in the aftermath of an assault, Peach feels a trickle of blood down her legs, a lingering smell of her anonymous attacker on her skin. It hurts to walk, but she manages to make her way to her home, where she stumbles into another oddly nightmarish reality: Her parents can't seem to comprehend that anything has happened to their daughter.
The next morning, Peach tries to return to the routines of her ordinary life, going to classes, spending time with her boyfriend, Green, trying to find comfort in the thought of her upcoming departure for college. And yet, as Peach struggles through the next few days, she is stalked by the memories of her unacknowledged trauma. Sleeping is hard when she is haunted by the glimpses of that stranger's gaping mouth. Working is hard when her assailant's rancid smell still fills her nostrils. Eating is impossible when her stomach is swollen tight as a drum. Though she tries to close her eyes to what has happened, Peach at last begins to understand the drastic, gruesome action she must take.
In this astonishing debut, Emma Glass articulates the unspeakable with breathtaking verve. Intensely physical, with rhythmic, visceral prose, Peach marks the arrival of a visionary new voice.
Praise For Peach…
"In the wake of a horrific sexual assault, titular protagonist Peach attempts to navigate a life that has tilted on its axis. As accounts of sexual assault and misconduct have arisen in recent months, our inability to reckon with such events and their aftermath has only become more clear. This short novel--under 100 pages--confronts the enormity with impressionistic grace." - Elle
"Even as the world confronts report after report of famous men who are sexual predators, we rarely confront the horrific pain that can result from sexual violence. In Peach, a stream-of-consciousness narrative about a girl reeling in the aftermath of a brutal rape, Glass confronts us with the bodily and psychological trauma left behind." - The Huffington Post
"A strange and original work of art that manages to be both genuinely terrifying and undeniably joyful. . . . In this dark poetic myth, Emma Glass takes on the big issues: good and evil, violence, redemption. . . . An immensely talented young writer . . . . Her fearlessness renews one’s faith in the power of literature." - George Saunders, author of LINCOLN IN THE BARDO
"This startling book uses hypervisceral prose to detail how a woman tries to move through ordinary life after being raped. An explosive dramatization of trauma, Glass' short but harrowing Peach provides a propulsive, unforgettable read that's impossible to shake." - Entertainment Weekly
"A daring novel." - Sunday Times
"A stunning read . . . I found myself under the spell of Glass' words while reading her provocative prose, which thrummed in my head, words plucking at my very nerves . . . Glass makes clear the cost of reckoning with sexual assault, and . . . the mythic dimensions of Peach's struggle with her trauma make clear that this is an age-old story, and must never stop being told until everyone starts to actually listen." - Nylon
"Peach is an unconventional and disturbing novel about the traumatic aftermath of a sexual assault… In this inventive novel, Emma Glass explores how survivors cope with devastating trauma that seems unexplainable." - Bitch Magazine
"Glass's fierce and mesmerizing debut straddles the line between fable and novel as it chronicles the effects of a sexual assault on a young woman . . . Glass's remarkable prose stretches the boundaries of storytelling throughout, adding depth and strange beauty to this vital novel." - starred review, Publishers Weekly
"Glass' prose is capable of breathtaking deftness . . . the clipped sentences and obsessive repetitions provide a terrifying window into a freshly traumatized psyche. With paragraphs that read like poems, this is a memorably crafted entry into the canon of revenge narratives." - Kirkus Reviews
"Gorgeously written; this debut novel is a haunting prose poem with surreal overtones. Highly recommended." - starred review, Library Journal
"One of the novel's most salient qualities is a rhythm reminiscent of Dr Seuss." - Times Literary Supplement
"Like a bruised piece of fruit, [Peach] oozes with ruined sweetness that one can't wash off after reading. . . . Glass's imaginative wordplay opens up the very serious subject matter of sexual assault in new, frightening dimensions. In the end, Peach becomes a fable on revenge that is viscerally, gut-wrenchingly delivered." - Shelf Awareness
"Peach is a hypnotic, visceral read about a girl named Peach, who is recovering from sexual assault. This is a rape revenge story; but much more than that, it is a book about language. Lyrically and visually driven, Glass's sentences read like powerful poems, and they encompass so much emotion, you’ll find it hard to put this novel down once you start." - Literary Hub, "15 Books You Should Read This January"
"Glass, a practicing nurse in her native England, aptly portrays Peach's real and mythical struggles between emotion and reason, power and trauma in this darkly arresting debut." - Booklist
"This is a very powerful little novel . . . remarkably well-written." - Book Riot, All the Books! Podcast
"Emma Glass' debut produces a lyrical, heartrending reading experience that explores one woman's response to a horrific assault." - Paste Magazine
"A visceral work . . . Glass uses fragmented, sensory language to evoke the lasting trauma of a sexual assault, from dissociative episodes to body dysmorphia. But for all its emotional insight, the book's boldest choice is its suspension between fantasy and reality." - New Statesman
"This short debut novel is almost certain to be the book everyone is talking about over the next few months and with good reason: It's terrifying and disturbing and sticks with you long after you’ve finished it." - The Awl
"Related in an urgent, rhythmic unspooling of language . . . Peach's voice is unsettling, idiosyncratic and discomforting, as well as being moving and utterly absorbing . . . This sense of radical domestic fantasy gives the novel a raw power, as well as provoking multiple interpretations. It may occasionally confound, but Peach is a bold, memorable novel – gripping, strange and utterly singular." - Stuart Evers, Spectator
"Peach is difficult to read. It follows a teenager in the minutes, hours, and days after being sexually assaulted by a stranger. Though it's only just over 100 pages long, you'll feel every word of this intensely graphic and visceral debut." - Hello Giggles
"Dazzling debut." - Men's Health
"The dark poetic world of Emma Glass's debut, Peach, immerses the reader in a young woman's personal hell . . . Through prose that is lyrical, mythic and yet wonderfully clear, Peach expounds on themes of good versus evil, and the base nature of desire, consumption and carnality . . . There is a spoken word vibrancy to Glass's prose . . . A debut of consistently visceral writing . . . Not since Patrick McCabe's The Butcher Boy has such symbolism been used so effectively to make clear one woman's brutal experiences." - Irish Times
"Emma Glass's slim but weighty first novel dramatizes the ways powerful emotions evaded or repressed make themselves powerfully felt . . . sinister . . . vivid." - Sam Kirchener, Literary Review
"'Peach' is a short, experimental, and gut-wrenching debut novel from Emma Glass . . . Glass's work is startling, haunting, and original." - The Riveter, "Books to Read in January"
"Peach is shocking, revealing and deals with a subject which most authors would shy away from. It is uncomfortable, worthy and brave . . . Glass deserves recognition for her bravery regarding both topic and style." - Scotland on Sunday
"Surreal and unsettling . . . Experimental and lyrical, Glass nods to James Joyce and Dylan Thomas as well as musical influences like Kate Bush and Bon Iver in her acknowledgements. Although . . . it's the disturbing imagery that leaves the biggest impression in this poetic novella." - Big Issue North
"Peach is shocking, revealing and deals with a subject most authors would shy away from. It is uncomfortable, worthy and brave . . . Glass deserves recognition for her bravery regarding both the topic and style." - Jane Bradley, Independent
"An impressive achievement. There are obvious Joycean and Eimear McBridean influences on her writing, which is rich with onomatopoeia, musical rhythm and graphic, bloody imagery . . . A truly original voice for the future. Peach is a meeting place for expressionist poetry and Cronenberg-style body horror that’s not something you come across every day." - Jane Graham, Big Issue
"Choose wisely the moment when you pick up Peach, because once you do you'll be unable to put it down until the very last sentence." - Kamila Shamsie, author of HOME FIRE
"Impossible to categorise, intimately weird and exhilaratingly bold, Peach shares literary DNA with Gertude Stein, Hubert Selby Jr, and Eimar McBride, but Emma Glass’s massive talent is all her own." - Laline Paull, author of THE BEES
"Peach is a work of genius. So lonesome and moving, so gruesome, wry, tender and plaintive. It is the new Jane Eyre, and one wild, thrilling ride. Swallow it in one gulp, and carry a spare copy in your pocket. Always." - Lucy Ellmann, author of DOT IN THE UNIVERSE
Bloomsbury USA, 9781635571301, 112pp.
Publication Date: January 23, 2018
About the Author
Emma Glass was born in Swansea. She studied English literature and creative writing at the University of Kent, then decided to become a nurse and went back to study children's nursing at Swansea University. She lives in South London and is a research nurse specialist at Evelina London Children's Hospital.