In a kind of Catherine Millet meets Roland Barthes baring of life with hints of the work of Chris Kraus, Sludge Utopia by Catherine Fatima is an auto-fictional novel about sex, depression, family, shaky ethics, ideal forms of life, girlhood, and coaching oneself into adulthood under capitalism.
Using her compulsive reading as a lens through which to bring coherence to her life, twenty-five-year-old Catherine engages in a series of sexual relationships, thinking that desire is the key to a meaningful life. Yet, with each encounter, it becomes more and more clear: desire has no explanation; desire bears no significance.
From an intellectual relationship with a professor, a casual sexual relationship, to a serious love affair, to a string of relationships that takes Catherine from Toronto to France and Portugal and back again, Sludge Utopia presents, in highly examined, raw detail, the perspective of a young woman's punishing though intermittently gratifying sexuality and profound internalized misogyny, which causes her to bring all of life's events under sexuality's prism.
"Few recent novels have absorbed me so completely, and filled me with this kind of plain admiration: here is a fresh mind, a captivating voice, and analytical acuity. It leaves me feeling as though I had discovered a female, 21st century Henry Miller for all its unfiltered engagement in the raw and the real" --Sheila Heti, author of How Should a Person Be?