I don’t do book reviews, as regular or long time readers will know. Not because I don’t want to mention good fiction (god know!). It’s simply because I’m not very good at them. But despite that I do, when I read something great, like to give it a mention.
Which is why I’m mentioning Angela Readman’s ‘Strip’.
‘Strip’ is mostly a poetry collection. It’s about sex.It’s about porn (one of the poems is about an actress who performs with animals and there are others about Bettie Page – someone I previously knew very little about). And it’s brilliant. It’s honest. It cuts to the truth of things. It’s about being female and about what’s often expected. It’s raw and it’s beautiful and it’s wonderfully sad. And it’s written beautifully, Angela Steadman is clearly a master (or mistress!) of words and of language.
Perhaps my favourite section was ‘The Porn Star Letters’. They’re written by a young girl, in the midst of her sexual awakening, to Traci, a porn actress (or star). That bit broke my heart a little and reminded me of Caroline Smailes’ Black Boxes in its use of language and the way it was brilliantly affecting.
A brilliant, brilliant collection that I’d say was well worth checking out.