I had the honor of reading an early draft of Twelve. Austin has created a whole new language for mourning that is sharp, and raw, and beautiful. Anyone who has lost a loved one unexpectedly or had to negotiate the dissonance of having a part of their identity ripped away suddenly by death will feel the stab of truth in every word.
Kindra Austin’s Twelve continues where Constant Muses left off, rich and intense.
After having read Constant Muses, I eagerly awaited the release of Kindra Austin’s Twelve. I expected more of the imagery of Muses, with its cigarette smoke and endless cocktails. While those common threads are there, Twelve favors the much more potent darkness of decay and memento mori. In Twelve, Austin further exposes the connection between the corporeal and spiritual that she began to explore in Muses, through an emotional dissection of the year of grieving on her mother’s death. And I felt it was a grieving ‘on’, not ‘over’: she rests upon each painful moment of remembrance and exposes it to us fully, unapologetically. It is that straightforward voice, plainly truthful, that compelled my own visceral response—and while I cannot fully describe in words how I felt, I do know that…
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