Review: Sarasota VII by Lo Galluccio

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sarasota VII by Lo Galluccio (cover)

Sarasota VII

by Lo Galluccio

ÄŒervená Barva Press, 2008

Paperback, 64 pages

ISBN: 9780615263694


"Sarasota VII" is so intensely personal that reading it feels like an intrusion, like listening to someone's late-night conversation with their lover, like shoving your face right into the breast of a nursing woman, like clomping in Wellington boots through a delicate tracery of flowers.

It's as if Lo Galluccio has opened her private diary and printed its contents on the page: raw, unedited, begging to be prised open and understood. Death and sex intertwine like lovers, neither making sense of the other, but unable to part.

"She's taken from you. You've been vandalized by a rummaging god. She becomes a compacted star in your cosmos, the rings through which you become, like Saturn, denser than before--heavy with shame and longing--but furious enough in your suspension to fly."

Whatever new definitions the narrative tries to place on the sister's death, whatever consolations are offered--"Girls who become mistresses through whom you become a man, not the boy that death fueled"--the loss is always there, tangible, demanding to be understood, to be redefined, to be hidden then sought in allegory. Every possible means of understanding the death is attempted, rotated, abandoned, re-tried, holding the death at the centre of the narrative, allowing it to force its way into every thought, every action. Here our determination to ignore death is the ultimate taboo; here death will not be ignored.

In the second section, the narrator is dealing with a second death: her father's. Half of this narrative is, it seems, missing, and so it ends tantalisingly with much unsaid. Here, we have perhaps a gentler, more accepting view of death, yet it's still all-pervasive. "Because I'm fatherless I wound up in his shiny black rental car." Grief brings about strange outcomes; grief motivates everything, even though it's the great demotivator. Everything comes back to the black hole death has made in the narrator's life; everything is attributable; everything is coloured by it. Nothing can ever be the same.

This collection will appeal to those prepared to deal with an onslaught of emotions, to those who are prepared to take the time to let it soak into their understanding, to those who've been there. It's outstanding in its rawness, in its willingness to tell it like it is. Not for the faint of heart.


- reddit, digg, facebook, stumbleupon, etc... please! ;)
posted by Debbie

25 comments; 12 subscribers

Monday, February 23, 2009 / 16:51:50
For a chance to be entered into the draw to WIN the review copy of "Sarasota VII", tell us in comments who you'd like to eulogise in a poem--and how long it'd be.

Raffle open to anyone in the world and ends March 9th 2009 (midnight pacific time).
Tuesday, February 24, 2009 / 00:54:06
I found this review very insightful. I can tell this will be an intense reading experience. Can't wait to read the book!

I would eulogise my mother in a poem, probably two pages at least. I've never written a poem over a page. My mother has had a profound--and sometimes heartbreaking--influence in my life.

Thank you for the review. I'll be picking up a copy of the book soon.
Thursday, February 26, 2009 / 14:51:51
i love to read all sorts of books . this sound exciting
Thursday, February 26, 2009 / 14:53:32
mverno--I'm afraid that doesn't count as an entry. You need to answer the question to be entered into the draw :).
Thursday, February 26, 2009 / 15:46:47
I would love to read this, would be an interesting read
Thursday, February 26, 2009 / 16:47:25
ydsddd, that doesn't count as an entry either :). Srsly, folks, answer the question!
Friday, February 27, 2009 / 12:39:59
I would eulogise my father in a poem at least 3 pages long..He was an honorable gentleman,kind,wise and respected by his family and everyone in the community.I am a subscriber.
Friday, February 27, 2009 / 14:11:20
Thanks for the review. I would eulogise a very dear friend who died at too early in life. Length? So much to say, but could I say it all out loud? Five pages, maybe six, and still not enough.
Friday, February 27, 2009 / 15:06:54
looks like a good read
Friday, February 27, 2009 / 15:33:38
*talks to herself again about having to answer the question to be eligible*
Saturday, February 28, 2009 / 11:10:04
I find that much of my work is, if not a eulogy proper, a symbolic response, to the early death of my mother (and father, soon after).

So, then, it infuses everything I have ever written.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009 / 15:42:51

Please, enter me, great prize!!! I would love to win this.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009 / 15:43:39
*talks to herself yet again about having to answer the question to be eligible*
Wednesday, March 4, 2009 / 15:50:42
I would eulogize Debbie, when she loses her religion.

For exactly one post.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009 / 15:51:58
Thursday, March 5, 2009 / 16:12:10
Looks great :)

ktgonyea at
Thursday, March 5, 2009 / 16:14:17
Are you lot all teasing me or do you really not realise you have to Answer The Question?!?!?!?!?
Thursday, March 5, 2009 / 16:17:09
Thursday, March 5, 2009 / 21:32:29
Deep breaths. Just take deep breaths and have some sweets. *gives Debbie a chocolate chip cookie*
Friday, March 6, 2009 / 02:05:43
Sunday, March 8, 2009 / 14:20:25
Paul Newman; it would be a concise appreciation of his work in film and his humanitarianism.
Monday, March 9, 2009 / 08:05:18
My mother. It would be four paragraphs.
Monday, March 9, 2009 / 13:33:44
My father. I am a much worse person than I otherwise would have been, had he not left the world so early in my life. I could write a book, but would limit it to a few pages, I'm sure.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009 / 11:09:00
Lots of invalid entries here, which makes me sad.

But the winner, picked from the valid entries using, is dwarzel. Congratulations!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009 / 15:20:44
Congrats, dwarzel!

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