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O Fallen Angel
by Kate Zambreno
Published by Chiasmus Press
Like Angela Carter’s fairy tales, Kate Zambreno’s O Fallen Angel deftly exposes the psychic brutality that lies underneath the smooth glassy surface of parable. Set in Midwestern America in approximately 2006, Zambreno’s character/archetypes—a Mommy who names her golden retriever after Scott Peterson’s murdered wife Laci, a daughter who signs her suicide note with a smiley face and a doomed psychotic prophet—are all agents and victims of disinformation, but this doesn’t make their pain any less real. In Zambreno’s SUV-era America, unhappiness doesn’t exist because it can be broken down into treatable diagnostic codes. As she writes, “Maggie wants to be FREE but she also wants to be LOVED and these are polar instincts, which is why she is bipolar, which is a malady of mood.