... [an] absurdist, word-playing debut...Glass is not operating in the realm of realism. Her characters are both human and not-human ... It’s not obvious, though, why Peach must be made to disintegrate, other than that this is what must happen in the novel of female pain when a character has suffered as much as she can be made to suffer. The climax is a generic formality, and it feels as unearned as it is preordained. Peach outdoes her fellow wound-dwellers by becoming nothing but wound, yet the words, skipping along on the surface of language, touch little of the trauma they want to harness ... Glass has a poet’s ear for the architecture of sound and an imagination full of the bizarre. But there must be other kinds of story to tell about being female than ones that end in nothing.
The staccato prose, repetition and alliteration here typify Glass’s writing style; the effect is propulsive and absorbing, the violent scenes and visceral details discomfiting. Glass tries to narrow the gap as much as possible between what her narrator feels and what the reader feels. Peach is only 98 pages long but, on finishing it, you won’t feel short-changed and you wouldn’t want it to be any longer — it is an intensely physical reading experience ... Everything about Peach is clipped: the title, jabbing sentences, spare use of commas, characters’ names, unspecified setting. Glass is careful not to overburden her prose with imagery and, when she does deliver a striking image, it is all the more impactful for that ... As a novel about an assault against a woman, Peach feels both timely and timeless. It challenges the reader to examine their responses to the narrator.
Peach, the debut novel from Emma Glass, is written in this language. The words spin out from the page, into and around your head; they have accepted definitions, but they take on new meanings the more you see of them, in the same way that any word starts to feel strange in your mouth if you say it again and again ... Glass’ cunning use of language, reminiscent of the great 20th-century modernists like Gertrude Stein and James Joyce, and her employment of alliteration and repetition, evoke vague feelings of madness while you’re reading... But whereas many accounts of sexual assault — fictional and non — are related in a realistic way, Glass’ formal experimentation serves the purpose of bringing the reader even closer to the trauma. In a sense, this is surprising; it feels dichotomous, as if the strange beauty of the language should offer distance from the familiar horrors on the page ... What Glass has done with Peach is offer a look into one woman’s world, as she tries to figure it all out.
In Peach, Glass’ characters become her patients, and we experience the world through Peach’s eyes. Peach’s need is to be believed, to be seen. And Glass gives her center stage ... The attention to detail and organic sound in individual syllables, twining and weaving in a mesmerizing dance, is unmistakably potent in Peach. From the very first sentence, Glass asserts her prowess and control of language, showing remarkable restraint in molding the most powerful images... The alliteration and assonance shape prose that demands the reader’s attention as they enter the world of the story and trust that the author is going to guide them through it carefully — if not safely ... Peach’s story is one of survival and adaptability and the ways that we change when all we want to do is stay normal. It is a haunting melody of the little truths we notice when everything else feels like a lie.
Emma Glass’s fictional debut – a novella-cum-prose poem – packs one hell of a punch ... Its brevity and linguistic innovation are reminiscent of Megan Hunter’s The End We Start From and Max Porter’s Grief is the Thing with Feathers, but Glass’s commitment to the visceral is like nothing else I’ve read ... Sometimes it felt like enforced sensory overload just for the sake of it, but Peach inhabits a strange, horror-story realm of the hyperreal, and Glass’s vision goes a long way towards portraying an experience that’s near-impossible to articulate.
Like a bruised piece of fruit, it [Peach's language] oozes with ruined sweetness that one can't wash off after reading. The novel's moral lessons stick, and they're meant to ... Writing in the first-person, Glass revels in rhythmic fragments, rhyme and alliteration that create an uncanny stream-of-consciousness... Glass gives literal reality to these food-based characters – even their names designate their physicality and edibleness – but also makes them greater symbols of a consumer society ... All this adds up to a macabre playfulness that keeps Peach lively and luridly engaging throughout. Glass's imaginative wordplay opens up the very serious subject matter of sexual assault in new, frightening dimensions. In the end, Peach becomes a fable on revenge that is viscerally, gut-wrenchingly delivered ...a deceptively short, hugely provocative novel worth every bite.
...truncated, lyrical language... Glass’ stylized writing owes a clear debt to James Joyce’s experimental prose, something she acknowledges in a note at the end of the book. Although that's a difficult effect to sustain across even a volume as slender as this one, Glass’ prose is capable of breathtaking deftness. And the writing is much more than a gimmick: the clipped sentences and obsessive repetitions provide a terrifying window into a freshly traumatized psyche ... With paragraphs that read like poems, this is a memorably crafted entry into the canon of revenge narratives.
Glass’s fierce and mesmerizing debut straddles the line between fable and novel as it chronicles the effects of a sexual assault on a young woman by a depraved stranger named Lincoln ... Making full use of metaphor, alliteration, and wordplay, Glass’s remarkable prose stretches the boundaries of storytelling throughout, adding depth and strange beauty to this vital novel.