To this gay, it comes as no surprise that a book called Villainy is about friendship. Queerness isn’t individual — it’s not something we can do on our own. We need each other just as much in the street as we do in the hot tub orgy.
While these canyons lead to Louisiana and through Hurricane Katrina’s pummeling, the overarching project of None But the Righteous is to situate this region and its most recent catastrophic event, within a wider and longer history of canyons and of pummeling.
The impostor sustains agency, decision, and responsibility. We pose. We become. We undo. We skirt expectations and evade labels. We reinvent and see the world in a new light.
For the readers who are keenly aware of their experiences of love, hatred and pain for, and fear of, the self, Isoline’s poetry will offer useful approximations of the vocabulary needed to meet them peacefully and poetically.
This experiential reading of the book is, in parts, created by what the blurb notes as Thúy’s “trademark style” which is “close to prose poetry.” And, like poetry, the book is economical and careful with words. Every sentence is a sensory jolt to the reader — heavy with meaning that must be unpacked and savored.