MERCURY RETROGRADE by Emily Segal
150 x 230mm, 214 pages, black and white printing, perfect bound, softcover, 2020
Autofiction. Emily Segal, artist and trend forecaster in her 20s, tries to tell the future by reading the present. Literature finds commercial form in the shape of eXe, a mysterious and well-funded Internet start-up that offers her a job. A conceptual take-over is deployed; gendered power play ensues; queerness incubates; memes converge. Set in New York City, post-Occupy and pre-Trump. First person / mixed media / pulp. Not actually about astrology.
“Mercury Retrograde is funny, piercingly smart, and incisive. It feels like it swallowed the Internet without making the Internet its subject or problem, and reads as if a young Bret Easton Ellis were an incredibly smart, feminist contemporary woman with the intellectual powers of Don DeLillo. There’s a velocity to Emily’s thinking and an incredible collision of high art and pop art which I find absolutely thrilling. It feels disciplined, yet there’s an unprocessed quality which makes the book feel immediate and alive. Bingeable, pulpy, and fun, all at the same time.” Matthew Specktor, LARB Radio Hour