Attic by Katherine Dunn
New York : Harper & Row, 1970. First Edition. Hardcover. 134 pages ; 21 cm. $4.95 dust jacket unclipped. Very good copy in original dust jacket with unmarked pages and square binding.
ATTIC is a fantasy for adults—adults under thirty. The overt action concerns a young woman who is working with a group of itinerant door-to-door magazine salesmen. She wears about her neck something called "Dogsbody," which appears to be a cross between a cocker spaniel and a mink stole. She is arrested for cashing a bad check in a five-and-dime, and the book details her trial and prison term with flashbacks to her earlier life.
The sheer, torrential, turned-on energy of Katherine Dunn's language would make her recital of a laundry list exciting. Her novel is in outline a catalogue of experience—but essentially it is a savage Orphic hymn, filled with rage, hurt, contempt; rough-tongued, willfully brutal, and ferociously triumphant. In short, the author is young, knows it, likes it, and knows she is a writer. So does the reader.
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