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TENTACLE by Rita Indiana
Translated by Achy Obejas
Is Cli-Punk a thing? I hope so, because I really have no other way to describe this frenetic Catherine Wheel of a novella from the Dominican Republic. Heck, I’m not even sure I have my head around it. There’s something about an enzyme from a sea anemone that, when injected, causes full gender reassignment in humans. And a young androgynous maid called Acilde who spends her nights dressed as rent boy sucking off the Santo Domingan elite only to one day find herself (now himself) the “chosen one” in a voodoo prophecy to go back in time and save the world from its recent climate catastrophe.
There’s pirates, possession, a dictatorial despot, wanky art students who are probably worse than the pirates and, well, a whole lot of sex and violence that would make Tarantino blush (or, at least, be very jealous). It’s a wild ride; a truckload of fun in some parts, kind of stomach churning in others. My only complaint is that it’s so fast-paced and bonkers that when Indiana takes her foot off the pedal it can seem a bit tedious. Kind of like a drug, really.
Tentacle by Rita Indiana (Tr. Achy Obejas)
And Other Stories, 2018