From Publishers Weekly
Kotapish offers in her unnerving debut a frustrating tale of a woman's struggle to keep her past from overtaking her present. The nameless narrator leads readers through the mazes of her memory, from a childhood spent talking to the ghost of her dead sister, Nancy, through her adult trauma of watching someone get run over by a subway car, and finally to Virginia, where she lives in a ramshackle house. Her cruel mother, Lois, whose sanity is also constantly called into question, becomes the axis on which the narrator's story spins in disjointed bits. The more the narrator reveals, the less reliable she becomes, calling into question whether Nancy is indeed the ghost of her dead sister or simply the personification of repressed grief and resentment. Within this aching knot of remembrance, Kotapish frequently lets her language and attention meander, stringing random thought together in unseemly pastiches that verbosely wind their way to dead ends. The novel has an overly indulgent feel, though some may appreciate the empowering ending. (Mar.)
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""Salvage "is a crazy, lush, tender story of two broken people...This is the kind of book you finish, tell everyone you know about it, and then realize you are ruined for anything else for awhile. Sweet misery."-- Shelf Awareness .,."breathtakingly original...Spikily funny and darkly imaginative, Salvage is an unsettling look into a troubled psyche."-- "DAME Magazine" .,."evocative and fluid...an extended exploration of the ongoing repercussions of the mother-daughter relationship in women's lives, even far beyond childhood...a revelation."-- BookReporter.com "Kotapish artfully juxtaposes with complexity and honesty the ironies of self-reliance and loneliness, of freedom and happiness, and of being independent and female."-- The Brooklyn Rail .,."witty...[Kotapish's] ferocious sense of humor--often unexpected and laugh-out-loud funny--and her consistently clever turns of phrase mark her as a writer to watch."-- Booklist "Out of Jane Kotapish's deeply poetic prose emerges a range of complex emotions and relationships that linger in the reader's thoughts...The power of the novel lies in Kotapish's unique exploration of how we come to terms with difficult childhood events and the profound impact they have on our lives."-- The Feminist Review