Fathom by Lisa Dart is an experimental memoir, that has unique qualities: playing with time, memory and style, it explores the hinterland of the narrator’s mind. Identity is evoked through three personas of the self: the puppet, the puppet master and She-who-knows. Poetic in style, though something of a detective story, the first-person narrative is richly layered — Plath, Shakespeare, Sophocles and pop songs all have their place.
Lisa Dart has a doctorate in Creative Writing from the University of Sussex, England. She has published poetry, book reviews, creative non-fiction and articles and has won both the Grolier Prize, USA, and the Aesthetica Prize. Her work has been published in The British Journal of Psychoanalysis and the International Journal of Psychotherapy. Her last book, This Thing of Darkness, was given an Arts Council Award in 2015.
I think I saw a lot of blood.”
When Jenny was four years old, something happened that made her very, very frightened. Only fragments of the ‘event’ remain –- blue flashing lights, an elephant’s foot umbrella stand and a thing she cannot say. Jenny’s mind has shut itself off and, consequently, she has no words for what happened, though she is deeply troubled by one recurrent thought: ‘I think I saw a lot of blood.’
This is a long and difficult story. It is a story of emotional breakdown, of hidden trauma, and of hidden memories, brought to the surface and explored through the work of psychoanalysis. Through talk with a psychoanalyst, exploring her feelings and episodic madness, Jenny starts to understand herself, and by getting back to that fateful day, she can begin to build herself up from its shatterings
Fathom is a bold and interesting read. It’s a little different to the type of books we usually read but really enjoyed it.
It’s quite poetic in style, very rich in detail and explores the mind of the narrator, told through psychotherapy sessions. It’s got an original narrative that keeps you guessing, and it makes you think, as you turn the pages.
You can get a copy here!