In many ways, it represents everything eight cuts gallery is about. It’s the kind of experimentally-formatted, self-published work we exist to champion. But Mut@tus hasn’t secured its place on the shortlist because of the boxes it ticks. It’s here because it’s the best published book I’ve read in the past 18 months.
Here’s the blurb:
Miss Virginia Mendes stumbles from the bourgeois bliss of her brittle marriage into the world of virtual romance, convinced that He must be out there, somewhere. After every disappointment, she picks herself up and brushes herself off, gradually, tentatively dismantling the unquestioned selfhoods picked up along the way. Cyber love mutates into concrete passion as the protagonist sounds out new identities-in -progress; intelligent, cosmopolitan, independent, a woman who learns to know her mind and sheds her qualms about giving the world a piece of it.
Of her sensuality, her philosophy, her triumphs and her pitfalls… all the Woman she is.
A voracious depiction of liberty, goaded by a click of the mouse; at times a war cry, at times a wry embrace of the female quotidian. Magnificently compelling, the irresistible power of Simon’s writing opens the door to our better Self.
Laid out in part like a twenty-first century play, in part like a modern epistolary novel, Mut@tus is both lyrical and raw, rich, layered, and utterly visceral. It masterfully uses distancing mediums of communication to take us deeper into the protagonist’s psyche so that we discover the layers of Gini’s character as she does. This is a glorious tribute to what the novel, and langugae itself is capable of doing. But most of all it is a remarkable portrait of a remarkable woman.