THE BOOK: Slim Confessions: The Universe as a Spider or Spit
PUBLISHED IN: Noemi Press, Fall 2021, winner of the Noemi Press Prize in Prose.
THE AUTHOR: Sarah Minor
THE EDITOR: Sarah Gzemski
THE PUBLISHER: Noemi Press
SUMMARY: In the lineage of Dodie Bellamy’s “Barf Manifesto,” Slim Confessions is a slow pour of parallel stories that chronicle a research trip gone awry. Slim Confessions is an image-text about digital intimacy and visceral material. A work of “autotheory,” the book lays in parallel the history of “slime” as a vehicle for horror and entertainment with personal encounters with quotidian slime in the human and animal worlds. At its center is a story of farm labor: A cold spring spent birthing sheep in northern Iceland interspersed with confessions about the author’s sexual past. In the lineage of Dodie Bellamy’s “Barf Manifesto,” this is a book reveling in repulsion and attraction, a personal investigation of physical touch as approximated by visual media.
THE BACK STORY: This project came out of a concentrated period of writing in isolation marked by experiences reading books, looking at the internet, and reaching my hands inside pregnant sheep. I may have written it as a means of quantifying the “Auto Sensory Meridian Response,” and also as a manifesto against the pressure to write about lived experience by following a linear narrative plan.
WHY THIS TITLE: Slim Confessions is a liquid text that uses images in place of paragraph breaks. The project subverts an old rule of fiction—that the text should “avoid becoming what it is about,” and delivers “slime” as a narrative tool, as a trope of screen-based horror, as a method of confession, and as a personal story of a month spent working on a farm during lambing season. The book experiments with a “slow pour” of story, anecdote, and confession: slime as a literary form, slime as always near-apocalyptic.
WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: This book is for readers trying to make sense of lives lived between visceral, physical environments and ongoing digital information streams on-screen.
“Sarah Minor wants to show us what shifts and slithers, what sticks and thwacks (or thwocks). She wants us to think about “what we can read in slime about ourselves through its tropes and scaffolding.” From work on a sheep farm in Iceland helping lambs through the birthing season to a series of scholarly takes on horror films and pornography, from Blobs to “star jelly” to money shots, Minor takes us on an inquiry into the interactions of our environment and our skin, our pleasures and our fear. “I write toward what I’m afraid of” she explains “…or perhaps toward something just past that gore that I have wanted to see all along.” Slim Confessions: The Universe as a Spider or Spit is a masterly crafted provocation against our aversion to the frighteningly formless.” — Susan Briante.
“Sarah Minor digs elbow deep into primordial drives of hunger, fear, sex, getting our muck under her nails. SlímConfessions stretches—assimilating an account of birthing lambs in Iceland, analyses of “the Blob” horror genre cum cumshots, and a dive into adolescent thwocking—without tearing. This is smart, brisk writing, overflowing with potent, pungent sensuousness and vicious, viscous dirt.” — Douglas Kearney.
“Slime, the digester, suspender, timeeater, slow-sleeper” — you might prop yourself up on Laura Hyunihee Kim’s Entering the Blobosphere: A Musing on Blobs (if you loved that blobservation, and have wanted ever since to slit a blob and think what spills) and meanwhile you could sink your toes into Jenny Hval’s Paradise Rot (that dripping, moist and leaking novel) as you read Sarah Minor’s Slim Confessions. You might also want to use as your lamp, if it is nighttime, Johanna Hedva’s Minerva the Miscarriage of the Brain to remind yourself of a kind of writing that moves (an exuberant, felt report) on top of previous art experiences and collaborations. Now you are ready: This is a slide covered in slime. It slides from Gak to cum, porn to horror, from books to skin to screens eating the world it seems with the all-mouth that Minor— intensively and with a beaming personal touch— theorizes as slime.” — Caren Beilin
AUTHOR PROFILE: Sarah Minor is a writer and interdisciplinary artist and author of Slim Confessions: The Universe as a Spider or Spit (Noemi 2021), Bright Archive (Rescue 2020), winner of the 2020 Big Other Nonfiction Book Award, and The Persistence of the Bonyleg: Annotated, a chapbook from Essay Press. Minor is the recipient of the Barthelme Prize for Short Prose, an Individual Research Grant to Iceland, and an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award. Her essays have been collected in several anthologies including Best American Experimental Writing, Advanced Creative Nonfiction, and A Harp in the Stars. She teaches as a Visiting Assistant Professor in the University of Iowas Nonfiction Writing Program. Find images of her work at www.sarahceniaminor.com.
SAMPLE CHAPTER: See Amazon page.
CONTACT THE AUTHOR: Sceniaminor@gmail.com