GAG REFLEX by Elle Nash
127 x 205mm, 172 pages, Black & white printing, Perfect bound, Softcover, 2022
Drawing on the nostalgia of a nascent digital age and grappling with an eating disorder, indie cult author Elle Nash paints a realistic and poignant portrait of a teenager’s quest for self-identification on both sides of the computer screen. Using Livejournal entries, we meet our protagonist, in her messy transition into adulthood in the midst of grappling with calorie counts, boys, and being honest with who she is only online. Following up her cult fiction debut Animals Eat Each Other, Nash shows she belongs in the same camp along with exciting feminist literary disrupters the likes of Melissa Broder and Alissa Nutting.
It’s 2005. Lucy shambles through the last weeks of her senior year of high school, jonesing for a thinner body, desperate to connect with another human. Who is reflected back at her when she is sleeping with someone, when she is puking into the toilet bowl? Who is reflected back when she’s alone? Only the internet knows, where she muses on the concept of her “self” through her Livejournal, with a cadre of online friends who are definitely NOT pro-anorexic. Everyone's sick here, but at least they understand.