‘Accumulations (Appendix F)’ by Kate Zambreno

In January The White Review published ‘Accumulations (Appendix F)’ by Kate Zambreno online.  The text was printed as a thin column, so the reader could scroll and read one-handed, while breastfeeding. As such it both established the nursing dyad and, with the insertion of a screen into the mother-child configuration, it gave permission to break it. Permissive and equally provocative, this publishing act mirrors the stance taken by the text itself, which begins, “I’ve been keeping a mental list of all the pieces of art that I’ve nursed Leo in front of this past year.” It’s taxonomic, ekphrastic, playful and irreverent, at one instant positioning the nursing mother and child in front of the El Greco ‘Holy Family’, at another in front of a Harry Dodge video. “I figured if there were so many penises in that room it was okay to have my breast peek out through my leather jacket, like a floppy blue-veined sac of a sculpture, scratched and sad.” So there’s this discomfiting layering of reading subject, writing subject and written object… it unravels, subverts, queers… anything I’ve ever read about motherhood, and I’m dwelling on it still…

In The White Review online

‘Susan Sontag’ by Kate Zambreno

No aspect of Zambreno’s prose is more uniquely singular than its narrative voice. Her voice fills every page. Muriel Rukeyser wrote, “What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life?/The world would split open.” The truth that Zambreno seeks to represent is not authorial but personal. There is something of Dorothy Richardson in Zambreno’s writing, that sensation that this is the closest it is possible to get to another’s mind.

From Two Stories at bombmagazine.org, 2016, available here