The book, both in its physicality and content, poses a challenge not to conservative forces who would immediately shut it down, but rather to progressive and “open-minded” people who support queer writing — but only if it’s “literary” and respectable.
Dowling is uncritical and unsentimental in his portrayal of the mfa as the death-knell of creative solitude, spontaneous community-making, and writing for writing’s sake.
Why would the exploration of the formal possibilities (in all their complexity) not be just as crucial to the integrity of fiction as evoking emotion in the reader?
No anti-colonial tract more effectively debunked the, by then, three-century-old system which—tweaked and window-dressed to pacify the progressives of each generation—had enriched Europe while shredding colonized societies everywhere.
In many novels, the survival of a marriage symbolizes a return to normalcy, but Ingalls twists that convention by rendering marriage as a stricture on each individual’s autonomy.
JULIET THE MANIAC displaces survival from its preferred position of totality i.e. restitution, and reframes recovery as a messy and unpredictable process of fragmentary retrieval.