Black wave by michelle tea review – a rollicking apocalypse fantasy _ books _ the guardian

Michelle is in the Albion, the last dive bar in the neighbourhood to resist gentrification. Lattice energy trend She’s a lesbian poet, with chemically fried blue hair and homemade tattoos, dressed in an orange slip and biker boots. Fence minecraft Tonight she might smoke crack cocaine in a van with a newly released convict, or persuade her gender-indeterminate crush to score a bag of heroin for her. Fences lyrics It’s San Francisco, 1999: the pursuit of pleasure, whatever the cost.

At first, Black Wave seems pleasantly familiar, a messy, lightly fictionalised beat memoir of hangovers survived and conquests made. Travel baseball The frenetic parties and poetry slams of the pre-millennial Mission district are precisely rendered, while Michelle bears more than a passing resemblance to her creator, the queer novelist and memoirist Michelle Tea. Natural stone resources But there are disconcerting cracks in the mirror. Drip drop ice cream The sun is toxic, too hot to walk in, and at the sushi bar the menu is covered in Xs, for species that have gone extinct. Baseball stores There are hardly any plants or animals left in the city, except glossy kudzu vines and cockroaches, scurrying repulsively from drains and kitchen cabinets.

The world is on its last legs, and Michelle is likewise approaching crisis, teetering on the edge of a full-blown habit. Gardens illustrated You can’t outrun the apocalypse, but every addict knows the appeal of “doing a geographical”, as they call it in Alcoholics Anonymous: moving town for a fresh start. Garden design She gives up her rent-controlled room in San Francisco’s premier dyke apartment, loads her futon into a UHaul and bails for Los Angeles. Baseball drills for 7 year olds She’ll give up smack, maybe write a screenplay, live a better, healthier life.

Somewhere along the freeway, Tea smashes this narrative into little mutant fragments that diverge and intertwine. Facebook app wont load A meta-Michelle commandeers a few chapters: an older writer at her computer, attempting to reshape her past into something universally resonant. Landscape design ideas for front yard This is a space for Tea to reflect on who gets to tell stories and how. Masonry store near me “I just can’t open my screenplay with a scene of myself smoking crack in Ziggy’s van,” writer Michelle thinks, and deletes 20 pages. Landscape design pictures Maybe she should change her protagonist’s gender, make him straight and middle class. Small front garden ideas no grass Who wants to read about the broke lesbian daughter of two working-class dykes?

This Michelle wrestles wryly with the problems of representation, the ethics of transplanting the real people in your life into books (“I Should Just Give Up and Get a Job at Taco Bell Then” – Michelle always speaks in manic upper case – “‘Cause This Is It, This Is All I Know How to Do, Write These Glorified Diary Entries and Now I Can’t Even Do That Because Everyone Is So Fucking Sensitive”). Landscape images free download This Michelle wants to tell it like it is, or was, but has spent enough time at the Zen centre to know that by spinning the same old stories about her life she’s only cementing the illusion that she possesses a self at all.

Meanwhile, 1990s Michelle in her crummy LA studio is still hellbent on drinking herself to death. Garden of eden kansas Tea is adept at logging the self-justifying spirals of alcoholic logic. Football games online multiplayer Michelle doesn’t really have a drinking problem, she tells herself, not if she orders champagne – so fancy! – or drinks while wearing a vintage nightgown and gold mules (“in such a get-up, late-night binge drinking was acceptable”), never mind that it’s 3am and she’s maniacally sticking old band flyers in a scrapbook with gaffer tape, killing roaches with her fists. Fencing rio 2016 Every day she swears she’ll stop drinking, and every evening she breaks her promise. Cheap bats com “Nothing,” she observes to herself, “seemed as alcoholic as quitting drinking. Basketball wives la season 5 episode 5 That was one thing alcoholics did for sure.”

Addiction is a closing down of possibility, a refusal to believe that things can be different. Basketball rio 2016 tv Likewise, the apocalypse novel tends to run along a single track. Softball games From The Death of Grass to The Road, the end of the world is an occasion for macho fantasy, loading up on guns while the women get raped. Francescas Michelle, on the other hand, spends the final weeks of life on Earth getting sober and holing up in a bookstore, which she keeps open despite the mass suicides, tsunamis and nuclear fallout. High pitch sound test Having warded off a potential assailant with a stolen Magnum, she makes out with Matt Dillon, a frequent customer at the shop.

The end of human existence is an opportunity, just like anything else. Minecraft fence designs Maybe it’s even an occasion for enlightenment, the shaky, tender kind that robs the newly sober of their defences. Special olympics basketball schedule “Here at the end of the world, Michelle was suddenly over poverty. Pitch in spanish The shield she had welded over her heart to protect herself from the pain of it was corroding like rust in the rain. Basketball teams in new york It had felt so strong, but there in the apocalypse kitchen Michelle felt it as flimsy as a floppy disk – so much philosophy, political analysis, rebellious identity and liquored intoxication just to stave off the simple scary sadness of being broke.”

It’s this rawness that makes Black Wave so disarming, a rollicking hallucinatory fantasy that’s as sobering as cold air. Retaining wall design software It’s about power – who possesses it and who doesn’t, and how easy it is to abdicate the little you have. Baseball america hot sheet It’s sentimental and reckless and not quite like anything I’ve read before. Softball express An apocalypse novel that makes you feel hopeful about the world: could anything be more timely?

• Olivia Laing’s latest book is The Lonely City (Canongate). Free online baseball games Black Wave is published by And Other Stories. Top fantasy baseball players 2016 To order a copy for £7.50 (RRP £10) go to or call 0330 333 6846. Facebook live map Free UK p&p over £10, online orders only. Francesca eastwood Phone orders min p&p of £1.99.