Fence. 2014. 144p. ISBN 9781934200858. pap. $15.95. F
OrangeReviewStarIn the 1850s, in a ship's hold somewhere in the South Pacific, McGlue awakens blood soaked and so hungover he can't remember the previous evening, when he presumably killed a man named Johnson. Because Johnson had rescued McGlue from a vagabond life and got him his berth, and because McGlue is rowdy, abrasive, foulmouthed, and inclined to call people faggots and blackies, readers will condemn him out of hand. But as the story unfolds, a different understanding of events emerges.
VERDICT Rawly written yet superbly controlled, this accomplished debut is the inaugural winner of the Fence Modern Prize in Prose; it would have been no surprise to see it coming from a major literary house, so look there for Moshfegh's next.
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