Published in August 2015 issue of Prospect Magazine
Since the phenomenal success of Eimear McBride’s experimental novel A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing (five awards and counting), readers and critics are paying more attention to smaller publishers, trying to spot the next work to break into the mainstream. Naomi Booth’s lyrical and witty novella, The Lost Art of Sinking, could be the next big thing.
In one way, the book is a coming-of-age tale. The narrator Esther spends her teenage years in Yorkshire before moving down to London to pursue her career. But Esther is different from her friends: she is obsessed with making herself swoon. At school in Yorkshire she plays the “Fainting Game” where “the winner would be the girl who passed out the most times.” Her mother is a dancer who plays Sergei Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet and teaches Esther to surrender herself to the music: “There is no falling in love without the swoon,” she says.