Review: Loop by Brenda Lozana, translated by Annie McDermott

How do we define narrative? Traditional narratives as we typically think of them involve an entirely fictional story laid out with familiar beats: chapters, dialogue, and paragraphing; a beginning, middle, and end; exposition, themes, and motifs. But experimental forms of narrative, the kinds that have existed for centuries but are recently and rightfully in vogue and being given award-winning status, are arguably far closer to the truth than most traditional forms of narrative. Loop sits comfortably amongst such award-winning experimental narratives (like Milkman by Anna Burns, Flights by Olga Tokarczuk and Jennifer Croft, and the recently Booker-shortlisted Ducks, Newbury Port by Lucy Ellmann) as a clearer espousal of truth to life than something that is, ironically perhaps, more familiar to our tastes.

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Charlie Ptaszynski