I couldn’t put down The Sugar Queen thanks to its characters, delicious plot, magical realism, and sensory details.
“I am self-conscious beyond measure.”–Roxane Gay
While Edelson’s novel wasn’t inspiring or kind to bodies, it does show the gray areas — love and hate — of relationships fat women have with their bodies. It looks at how losing fat doesn’t change a fat person.
Andi’s fat obsession neuters her. It takes away her agency and renders her passive.
“I couldn’t say the f-word, I couldn’t say fat, I never said it out loud, I hating the way it sounded. I preferred a variety of euphemisms: overweight, curvy, chubby, zaftig, even obese.”
When you erase the fat and leave the girl, you’re still not getting much person.
American readers see what’s unusual, and the details are enough to make the story’s setting and characters vividly “other.”
“Dread sets in, you know?”
Have I ever told you that my imagination once almost killed me?
While the book goes at 100mph and doesn’t let up, it’s also relevant to today.