Laura’s Ghost: Women Speak About Twin Peaks

Fayetteville Mafia Pr. Oct. 2020. 200p. ISBN 9781949024081. pap. $29.99. TV
Twin Peaks, the bizarre yet groundbreaking 1990s TV series created by Mark Frost and David Lynch, is more than coffee, cherry pie, and surreal Americana. At its heart is a murdered 17-year-old-girl who, despite the show’s supernatural trappings, was a victim of sexual abuse and domestic violence. Stallings (Pepperdine Univ.) curates women’s perspectives to examine the importance of Laura Palmer and reflect on the cult classic’s impact on their lives. Sheryl Lee, who portrayed Laura Palmer, and David Lynch’s daughter director Jennifer Lynch, who wrote The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer, have direct insight into the character, but the fans’ perspectives are often more compelling. They have engaged with the series critically and creatively, hosting conventions, staging burlesque shows, and crafting poems, essays, and artwork—some of which are presented here. Laura’s trauma is tragically a shared experience, and what emerges is how the contributors see themselves in her story.
VERDICT Followers of the convoluted drama series will have an easier time following the conversation. While it’s easy to embrace Twin Peaks for its quirkiness, Stallings successfully centers the conversation on its darkest secrets. The work includes trigger warnings for sexual assault, sexual abuse, and domestic violence, as it embraces difficult topics that are sadly as relevant today as when the show first aired.
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