From the beginning of Toni Davidson's Scar Culture
, the reader knows that something has gone wrong: the first person accounts which form the bulk of this book have been found "at the scene"'. The familiar frame of a "case" study, then, but who has done what to whom is the question driving this book--moving beyond the conventions of its psychiatric/criminal frame. In "Click" and "Fright" we are forced up against the more unsettling ways of living, or dying, through childhood--Scar Culture
is part of the contemporary uncovering of the perversity of family life--as well as a few fragile metaphors of survival (if that is what they are). Click takes "head photos", recording the utter commotion of life with mother and father, Exit and Panic; Fright passes into a state of waiting for his brother to return, for his (dead) mother "to sing something, anything, into my ear". Curtis Sad's narrative starts to pull the book together, or further apart, in its presentation of the madness of a psychotherapy which becomes inseparable from the abuse it is supposed to cure. Within the tradition of a literary challenge to psychiatry, Scar Culture
is taking its chance, too, from the perceived crisis of family and therapy in late 20th- century culture--it may become, in fact, a powerful contribution to that crisis.--Vicky Lebeau
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Toni Davidson's first novel is a clever, well-executed work. (Independent on Sunday
Veering between the poetic and clinical, human and monstrous Scar
Culture is a brave, highly filmic, and complex book displaying a real
intelligence prepared to tackle taboo territory with imagination and
subversive humour. It could well be destined for cult status.
A macabre, disturbing and bitterly funny look at sexual abuse and psychiatry. (Dazed and Confused
As an account of pure, undiluted wickedness, it is hard to imagine this
novel being bettered - but perhaps it is just a question of waiting.
Davidson's novel is a deeply pessimistic work, but also a timely and