Published Monthly

Kittens in the Boiler
by Delphine Lecompte
reviewed by Michael Haislip

Somewhere around the third description of fellatio, I began to wonder if Delphine Lecompte actually exists. Even though the question-and-answer sheet sent to me by Thieves Jargon Press assured me that, yes, Delphine really is a Belgian whore/barmaid/mental patient living a Bukowskian urban life, I couldn’t elude that nagging feeling that I was on the lube-free end of a JT Leroy-style butt fuck. You know, the old “write your ideal self into the work” routine. “Ha ha! I’m not really a world-weary brilliant female writer; I’m actually a balding insurance adjuster from Omaha.”

If all of this is remotely true, then the underground has seen the rise of a new champion.

Kittens turns straight-ahead description into a gut-punch. The rocket pace of the narrative threatens to leave the casual reader behind, as characters pop into Lecompte’s life and just as quickly flee. The characters are flashes of shadow on your peripheral vision. As soon as the reader, or Lecompte, focuses on them, they vanish. These comings-and-goings define Lecompte’s urban isolation—a feast of acquaintances, a famine of meaningful interaction.

-- MJH 2006


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