Can you imagine sitting in a café in the near future, among strangers, lovers, and children, the relief of another human lightly touching your wrist? Can you imagine all of the gentleness that is still to come of this world?
Three Women—strictly speaking, a work of nonfiction, although it pushes the boundaries of the genre as Taddeo explores the inner lives of three individuals—is going to be called a book about women and desire. That’s the beginning of it, but far from the end. Its subject is also sexual trauma, in its micro and macro forms, and how some women have tried to define themselves through sex.
Laura van den Berg’s second novel, The Third Hotel, piques our interest on the basis of setting alone: Cuba just after the easing of US restrictions. That’s only the first exotic touch. The protagonist, Clare, has come to Havana for a movie festival featuring an edgy new horror flick, and swiftly finds herself in a horror trope, coming upon her own private zombie: her dead husband Richard.