Book 9, New Lovers
This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.
A young Asian woman's life at Yale takes a dizzying turn when she meets Dolores—her doppelgänger—at a party. As they begin to merge into each other’s social and sexual worlds, it becomes impossible to tell where one girl ends and the other begins. When Dolores' boyfriend and his twin brother enter into this pas de deux, identities and couplings spin off into a sinister and perverse web of illusions. Fantasian is Single White Female for the dawn of a new sexual fluidity.
Fantasian by Larissa Pham is one of the New Lovers, a series of short erotic fiction published by Badlands Unlimited. Inspired by Maurice Girodias’ legendary Olympia Press, New Lovers features the raw and uncut writings of authors new to the erotic romance genre. Each story has its own unique take on relationships, intimacy, and sex, as well as the complexities that bedevil contemporary life and culture today. Each novella in the New Lovers series is an independent story of about 12,000 – 18,000 words in length.
With FANTASIAN, Pham succeeds not only in producing an amazing work of art, but also in making the reader aware of how precarious their position in the room is. This book not only allows for the reader to completely project themselves into the text, but also projects itself inside the reader.
This is not simply an erotica - much of Pham’s haunting prose, which seethes with brilliant similes and delicious syntax, is embedded with Lacanian theory, and touches on themes dealing with obsession, race, and, of course, sex and love. I know these are heavy words to throw around, but it all plays out rather superbly. Nothing feels forced, even the various in-text quotes from such eclectic sources as George Simmel’s essay “The Stranger,” a performance art piece by Bruce Nauman, and a Richard Silken poem. Much as Pham compares decision making to the petals of a rose, her novel plays out the same, every word undeniably grown from the one before and after it, every sentence in perfect place.
You think your self is this seamless thing, no edges anywhere. But FANTASIAN inevitably picks at the badly pasted peripheries of your identity, peels it back, forcing you to look at what’s underneath. Infinitely rereadable, lovely and aching and deadly (not to mention sexy), do not miss out on this f*cking banger of a book.