In a kind of Catherine Millet meets Roland Barthes baring of life with hints of the work of Chris Kraus, Sludge Utopia by Catherine Fatima is an auto-fictional novel about sex, depression, family, shaky ethics, ideal forms of life, girlhood, and coaching oneself into adulthood under capitalism.
Using her compulsive reading as a lens through which to bring coherence to her life, twenty-five-year-old Catherine engages in a series of sexual relationships, thinking that desire is the key to a meaningful life. Yet, with each encounter, it becomes more and more clear: desire has no explanation; desire bears no significance.
From an intellectual relationship with a professor, a casual sexual relationship, to a serious love affair, to a string of relationships that takes Catherine from Toronto to France and Portugal and back again, Sludge Utopia presents, in highly examined, raw detail, the perspective of a young woman’s punishing though intermittently gratifying sexuality and profound internalized misogyny, which causes her to bring all of life’s events under sexuality’s prism.
Watch the Book Launch and Reading:
Praise for Sludge Utopia:
“Few recent novels have absorbed me so completely, and filled me with this kind of plain admiration: here is a fresh mind, a captivating voice, and analytical acuity. It leaves me feeling as though I had discovered a female, 21st century Henry Miller for all its unfiltered engagement in the raw and the real.” —Sheila Heti, author of Motherhood, shortlisted for the 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize, and How Should a Person Be?
Press Coverage for Sludge Utopia:
Spring 2018 Preview: Fiction —Quill and Quire
Most Anticipated: Spring 2018 Fiction Preview —49th Shelf
“Told with great intimacy, Fatima’s novel is a about desire under capitalism, ethics, love, depression, etc. Reminiscent of Sheila Heti’s narrators, the narrator of Sludge Utopia is reflective, revealing, and deeply curious on having and wanting.” —David Gutowski, Large Hearted Boy
Autofiction Grows Up, a Little —Emily Keeler, Literary Review of Canada
First Fiction Friday: Sludge Utopia —All Lit Up
Catherine Fatima on her Raw & Frank Auto-Fictional Debut Novel, Sludge Utopia —Open Book
“In Sludge Utopia, Catherine Fatima captivates readers with an auto-fictional take of a woman’s journey discovering her place within the world’s definition of love and desire.” —Maria Siassina, THIS Magazine
Jordan Tannahill’s favourite Canadian book of 2018: Sludge Utopia by Catherine Fatima —CBC Books
The Chat with Governor General’s Award Winner Jordan Tannahill —49th Shelf
“Catherine Fatima is an incredibly intelligent writer with an ability to blend the academic and theoretical with the highly emotional.” —Fawn Parker, 49th Shelf
Catherine Fatima is a writer who was born, raised and currently lives in Toronto. Sludge Utopia is her first book.