... [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.