Melissa Broder is a poet and essayist, and her lyrical new novel, The Pisces, is by far the best new book I’ve read this year. The premise: Lucy, a Sappho scholar, can’t finish her dissertation, breaks up with her boyfriend in Arizona, and moves to Venice Beach to house-sit for her sister. She tries online dating and makes unwise decisions. And yet she can’t stop obsessing about these men.
Then one day at the beach, she falls in love with a merman.
Here’s a quote:
“I’m on the pill,” I said. “We don’t need to use anything.”
Then I started laughing at the absurdity of everything. Was I really talking about birth control with a merman?
Is the merman real or is she psychotic? Well, I’m not quite finished with this post-post-modern witty novel, but I will say that Lucy attends a sad, funny therapy group for women with sexual obsessions. A merman might be the answer…though probably not…
The novel is smart, sad, comical, and witty. More later!