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Cut Away

3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  23 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Cut Away is a novel that expertly entwines the lives of three characters struggling to understand the meaning of identity and its seeming mutability. Orbiting around the mystery of a missing teenager, a trio of narrators each tells her story in turn. Alexandra is a transgendered woman who has refused surgery and abandoned Los Angeles for a trailer at the desolate Salton ...more
Paperback, 152 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Arktoi (first published 2010)
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Barb Johnson
Catherine Kirkwood's new novel, CUT AWAY, is set in the California desert as well as in L.A. Against this stark landscape, four characters--a lesbian plastic surgeon, a transsexual woman, an unstable mother and a runaway daughter--all get a bit of an existential makeover. On first glance this might seem the material of a ha-ha reality program. Not so. Not even a little. In Kirkwood's steady hand, questions of identity and beauty are brought delicately to the fore by way of character, each of whi ...more
Margaret Karlin
i have been remiss in not reviewing this immediately and now unfortunately i won't be able to remember the characters' names. there are four stories. they all center around the disappearance of a teenage girl. in reality, they all center around the body, more precisely the female body. one of the protagonist is a lesbian plastic surgeon with a flawless house which however gives much anxiety, a passion for her job, and an empty and broken heart. another is a transsexual woman who refuses surgery ...more
How to describe? The faces she presents are intoxicating but the characters free us from who other people think they are. Fine detail, riveting read. A guy tried to kiss me with three dykes in the room, and I just can’t deal with that. Being born one way and molding a carapace to suit one reptilian form, and changing like a chameleon to suit another spirit, magic as a dragonfly. Metamorphos, awakes, and Olivia wants the scalpel to release a cocoon she’s been awaiting for and to awaken as much as ...more
Mystery is not really my genre, but this was an efficient, well-written character piece about the lives of three women intertwining. One, a young, beautiful woman who has disappeared. Another, a lesbian plastic surgeon who takes a personal interest in the mystery of the missing girl. And another, a transgender woman whose slight connection to the girl brings her into the life of the doctor. I quite liked the writing style, and thought it painted a very evocative picture of the strange wasteland ...more
Simon Yawin
The little synopsis of the book on the back cover was what really sucked me in, but overall I felt the book really had very little to do with what it was said to be about, or really much of anything. The characters were certainly interesting, but there didn't seem to be much plot or achievement. Well-written, but ultimately empty like the desert it takes place in.
A nominee for the Edmund White Award for (LGBT) Debut Fiction, it tells the interwoven stories of 3 people: a MTF transsexual (who has stopped short of gender reassignment surgery); a plastic surgeon whose lover recently left her; and the mother of a missing girl who interacts with the other two women, who each briefly knew her.
I met the author at Flight of the Mind, a writing haven for women and we were both part of an on-going writing group for years. So she’s a writing buddy who has ctafted this fascinating tale about gender identity, women and plastic surgeons.
Mary Lynn
Intriguing short novel with a smart, compelling, and complex set of characters. The writing was quite beautiful and the setting was richly textured. I read it very fast, and immediately wished for more Catherine Kirkwood fiction to follow.
Eloise Klein Healy
I published this book under my imprint with Red Hen Press, Arktoi Books. So, I am slightly prejudiced about Cathy Kirkwood's work. It is a very memorable cast of characters, very memorable.
More like two and a half stars. I got about halfway through and just didn't care enough to finish. Interesting characters and setup, but nothing happens.
Rachel Contreni Flynn
A compelling read. The characters were finely written, the language concise yet rich.
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