Salt Fish Girl is an…interesting novel. A review is coming up soon, but for now here’s a long over due Notable Quotables post.
The book tends to question whether we are ever genuine or not.
I was only five. Have I pieced these things together from memory, or did I really think about them then as I do now?
I gazed at the floor in shame and remorse. How easily we abandon those who have suffered the same persecutions as we have.
I can’t say what made me follow this strange woman, except that it took more weakness than strength.
The book also discusses issues about relationships too:
Why shed blood when people can be bought and sold so easily?
Especially from keen observation of her mother before her, [my mother] knows that we eventually grow too monstrously huge for the memory of our births, and that we will eventually leave. Why give away too much of yourself, especially intimate bodily fluids, when you know you’ll eventually be abandoned, with or without gratitude depending on luck.
And, like the other books in the course I read Salt Fish Girl for, there’s the issue of reproduction:
Once I had to drink a soup made from embryonic chickens still sleeping in their eggs and coated in mucusy egg white. I don’t know why I should find such things unpleasant. I eat eggs and I eat chicken. Why should I be horrified by the liminal state between the two?
A pearl, a seed, how little space it takes to record all that is essential to know about life.
The novel also features a song called “The Shoes of Clarissa Cruise”, and the following verse is my favourite:
A drifting heed to those who lust
For things that glitter in the dark
And seem they’ll never leave a mark
Instead they take your breath away
So you can’t love another day