Shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize and the Republic of Consciousness Prize
Polar bears emerge from t-shirts. Reeboks come to life. Nothing is normal, in the house of Mother Normal.
In their second novel, Isabel Waidner blends critical writing and fiction with anarchic joy. We follow a character who looks like Eleven from Stranger Things, but is 36 years old, and who works for minimum wage in a run-down hotel on the Isle of Wight.
This is fiction that extends the avant-garde tradition beyond the upper-class experience that it usually chronicles – making it over as an ally of working-class queer experience. Set against a backdrop of austerity and decline, We Are Made of Diamond Stuff is an irreverent, boundary-erasing piece of work, celebrating the radical potential of resistance, ingenuity, and friendship.
‘Daringly experimental, this is the cutting edge.’
Jude Cook, Guardian
‘There is not a single ordinary sentence in Isabel Waidner’s We Are Made of Diamond Stuff. A novel that reads like an act of sabotage, of resistance, written as a song-scream against our nullifying need to belong. It is charged with undeniable life, like some explosive projectile aimed at all our insidious narratives (nationalism, exclusionary culture, corporatism, conservatism and so much more). You hope it goes off, that it blows open everything in its sights – just so that you may ride out on its wake. It leaves you laughing, breathless but also heartbroken and hopeful, like the spirited survivors in the book itself. Like lightning, this novel. It is a furious work, stuffed with necessary power, purpose and also affection. And to borrow one of its lines to re-articulate it – like the lypard, it navigates dimensions.’
Guy Gunaratne, author of In Our Mad and Furious City
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