Gideon Jacobs

  • fiction October 07, 2022

    Fierce Detachments

    Stephanie LaCava’s second novel, I Fear My Pain Interests You, opens with a strange epigraph: “Cows are not sentient beings.” The quote is attributed to “Reddit”—not a specific person on Reddit, but the platform itself, the amorphous, faceless chorus of fifty-two million very opinionated daily active users. It’s an enigmatic piece of front matter for an enigmatic story, and one that successfully primes the reader to enter the world of LaCava’s protagonist, Margot Highsmith, who, in a way, lacks sentience of her own.   

    Margot—an actress, early twenties, privileged, and very thin—is an iteration