The transgressive plot sees its unlikable, emotionally stunted thirtysomething narrator having an affair with a 17-year-old girl. But in the ultimate transgressive twist, that narrator is a novelist and creative writing professor named Julian Darius, after the book’s author. The result can seem at times suicidally daring in how it plays with your expectations of memoir and confessional literature, oscillating between truly disturbing and truly beautiful passages.
Nira/Sussa is a brutal examination of the desires of men and women — and whether these desires lead to true happiness or are self-destructive. It’s also an examination of the current generation gap, in which those even in their thirties sometimes marvel at the sexual frankness of the young. It’s also an updating of Lolita, a philosophical work of BDSM erotica, and a work of metafiction that skewers both the academy and the excesses of wealthy society. But most of all, Nira/Sussa blends the brutal with the beautiful, the transgressive with the literary, in a way that’s shockingly brave and new.
This is one of those novels you’ll love or you’ll hate, but you can’t fail to admit is powerful.
Given its ambitions, it’s no surprise that Nira/Sussa was ten years in the writing and two more just in editing.
And despite its transgressive content, it won its author a Ph.D.
You can download a free sample of the first 12,000 words for your Kindle here.
Just a reminder: whether this labor of love is going to find its audience depends on you. Please cast a vote for smart, bold literature by sharing this book on your social networks. It’s up to you.