Flowers of Spit is a corrosive narrative that surrounds the inflamed character of Flore Forget. Written as a long soliloquy, this novel is a delirious howl, an expectoration in the face of the world, a dolorous dive into the depths of identity. Is it possible to emancipate oneself from one’s tragedies, from the the individuals that have touched our lives and have died? Is it possible for flowers to bloom from cinders and spit? Filled with a vitriolic rage that teeters between despair and redemption, this work propels us into the memories inherent to scorched flesh. It is an implacable story, one propelled by a raw, breathless style that strikes us where it hurts the most.
“Radiatingly fulgurant” —The Chicago Review
“Nathanaël does a wonderful job of capturing some of the poetic beauty and angst in her interpretation of Mavrikakis’s work, the negotiation between highly stylized prose and a use of rhythm and vocabulary of vulgar speech” —Matrix Magazine
“In rich, baroque language that curls up on itself like the bindweed or the boa in heat, Catherine Mavrikakis rattles, shocks, seduces, carries away. She does so in keeping with the echoes of Sarah Kane, of Céline’s syncopated phrase or the carnal and striking poetry of Jean Genet—think to his sublime Our-Lady-of-the-Flowers. … A sumptuous and offensive style, sharpened on the scalpel of emergency.” —Le Devoir
Catherine Mavrikakis was born in 1961 in Chicago and has lived all her life in Montréal. She is the author of four novels, an essay, and an oratorio, Omaha Beach (2008). Her most recent book, Le Ciel de Bay City (2009), published in Québec and in France and which earned her the Grand Prix de la Ville de Montréal, Le Prix littéraire des Collégiens and the Grand Prix des Libraires du Québec. A Cannibal and Melancholy Mourning, also translated by Nathanaël, was published in English in 2004.
Nathanaël is the author of many books written in English and French, and with variant names. Recent titles include We Press Ourselves Plainly (2010), Carnet de désaccords (2009), Absence Where As (Claude Cahun and the Unopened Book) (2009). In addition to Catherine Mavrikakis, she has translated Gail Scott, Suzanne Jacob, John Keene as well as Édouard Glissant’s Poetic Intention (2009). She lives in Chicago.