How It Works Out

Myriam Lacroix

How It Works Out
Format
Paperback
Publisher
Vintage Publishing
Country
United Kingdom
Published
4 June 2024
Pages
224
ISBN
9781787334939

How It Works Out

Myriam Lacroix

What if you had the chance to rewrite the course of your relationship, again and again, in the hopes that it would work out?

When Myriam and Allison fall in love at a show in a run-down punk house, their relationship begins to unfold through a series of hypotheticals. What if they became mothers by finding a baby in an alley? What if the only cure for Myriam's depression was Allison's flesh? What if they were B-list celebrities, famous for writing a book about building healthy lesbian relationships? How much darker - or sexier - would their dynamic be if one were a power-hungry CEO, and the other her lowly employee? From the fantasies of early romance to the slow encroaching of violence that unravels the fantasy, each reality builds to complete a brilliant, painfully funny portrait of love's many promises and perils.

Equal parts sexy and profane, unsentimental and gut-wrenching, How It Works Out is a genre-bending, arresting, uncanny exploration of queerness, love, and our drive for connection, in any and all possible worlds.

Review

How does a relationship fall apart? And how does it fall back together? These are the questions Myriam Lacroix poses in her darkly comedic lesbian love/hate novel. Each chapter throws the two lovers, Myriam and Allison, into a different universe – they discover a baby, they become cannibals, they are a dog and a mantis. Throughout it all, the infinite possibilities of queer love remain central to the story, even when that love looks something like eating parts of your significant other.

Myriam is soft, often depressed, and sometimes a germaphobe. Allison is butch, often practical, and sometimes Myriam’s caretaker. How many times can these characters play out these roles? How often can Allison take care of Myriam before she becomes resentful? How often can Myriam be depressed before she gets angry? In giving these characters so many hypothetical universes, Lacroix provides them opportunities to grow up together, and also to grow apart.

As a foray into experimental literature, this text works extremely well. It is weird, sexy, challenging, and surprisingly funny. The love story seems all but doomed – except for when it works out. As a reader, I found surprising joy in trying on all these aspects of the characters’ love for each other, even when that love plays out as a form of torture, like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Lacroix carves out space for queer possibility, and queer liberation. No one is condemned by the story before them, every chance is rendered anew, in all its weird, surreal and sometimes gory detail. This is an essential 2024 novel for readers of absurdism, queer texts, and horror – I hope you can discover how it works out

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