Girls Against God: A Novel (Paperback)
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A genre-warping, time-travelling horror novel-slash-feminist manifesto for fans of Clarice Lispector and Jeanette Winterson.
Welcome to 1990s Norway. White picket fences run in neat rows and Christian conservatism runs deep. But as the Artist considers her work, things start stirring themselves up. In a corner of Oslo a coven of witches begin cooking up some curses. A time-travelling Edvard Munch arrives in town to join a death metal band, closely pursued by the teenaged subject of his painting Puberty, who has murder on her mind. Meanwhile, out deep in the forest, a group of school girls get very lost and things get very strange. And awful things happen in aspic.
Jenny Hval's latest novel is a radical fusion of queer feminist theory and experimental horror, and a unique treatise on magic, writing and art.
"Strange and lyrical. Hval’s writing is surreal and rich with the grotesque banalities of human existence." —Publishers Weekly
"The themes of alienation, queerness, and the unsettling nature of desire align Hval with modern mainstays like Chris Kraus, Ottessa Moshfegh, and Maggie Nelson." —Pitchfork
About the Author
Norwegian writer and musician Jenny Hval has honed an intellectual and uncompromising view of politics and sexuality in her prose as well as in records that include Blood Bitch; Apocalypse, Girl; and Innocence Is Kinky. Her debut novel, Paradise Rot, was published to acclaim in 2018.
"This genre-bending novel from a self-described gloomy child queen blends feminism and the occult with a touch of time-travel."
"An incendiary genre-bending novel. Throughout, Hval employs a dirge-like repetition of themes (feminist rage prominent among them), which enlivens her witchy visions and sets the stage for a reincarnated Edvard Munch, on the run from the vengeful subject of his painting Puberty. Hval's fascinating exploration is not for the faint of heart, but those who like it dark will find this right up their alley."
“[Girls Against God] is part fever dream, part manifesto, and part nostalgic reminiscing, with a hefty dose of feminist and queer theory for good measure … Chaotic yet ordered, Hval dives deeply into the process of self-discovery. [Her] language is visceral and haunting, corporal and carnal.”
—Carolyn Ciesla, Booklist
“This genre-bending novel from a self-described gloomy child queen blends feminism and the occult with a touch of time travel.”
—Joshunda Sanders, Boston Globe
“The atmosphere of Girls against God is on its surface bleak and unforgiving and yet beneath that impression there is a second story about the strength and solidarity of despised women.”
—David Renton, Morning Star
“[In] Girls Against God, Hval plunges up to her elbows in the thick, black, chthonic goo of rebellion and angst, through the quintessentially Scandinavian medium of black metal. The black-metal scene has historically been extremely sexist, but Hval reclaims it for the hateful, nihilistic teenage girls of the world with a decades-spanning tale of cinematic terrorism, political witchcraft, and satanic noise.”