USEREVIEW 056 (Capsule): Fuse

Jade Wallace/ November 17, 2021/ Book Review, Capsule Review

Hollay Ghadery
Fuse (Guernica Editions, 2021)
ISBN 978-1-77183-592-3 | 170 pp | $20 CAD — BUY Here


Ghadery’s debut, Fuse, is a collection of personal essays so intimate and engrossing that at times I had the strange sensation that my consciousness had melted and was being subsumed into the author’s. As if the secrets she was telling were mine laid bare on the page instead of hers. This, of course, is an illusion, a deft trick by a skilled writer who transports you so completely and with such immediacy that her vulnerability on the page becomes a self-consciousness you feel viscerally, beneath your ribs. Though some of my life experiences and Ghadery’s overlap — and these become easy entry points into the text — there are also vast swaths of her life that are entirely different from mine, including her biracial and bicultural identity, her contention with OCD and bulimia, and the intersections of these facets of the self. While many of the stories are told from memory, I am stricken by the subtlety with which she recalls them. I swear Ghadery’s attentive recollection of the past is imbued with more detail than my awareness of my present surroundings, which, coupled with her offhand but well-read observations and her acute emotional insights, is what gives these essays such power over the reader.

Recommended excerpt:

‘Jumptrack’ (pp 97–108) skips between scenes featuring Ghadery and her family of birth, Ghadery and her chosen family, and Ghadery and two strangers at a bar, strikingly illustrating the disparate varieties of closeness, and estrangement, people can experience with one another.

Jade Wallace is the Reviews Editor for CAROUSEL. More:

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