I’m A Fan by Sheena Patel
REVIEW ~ I’M A FAN
I haven’t read a book quite like this before. It was on my TBR for a while, after Chaya read and loved it (I’ve linked to her review from last year in our stories) and then, of course, it was longlisted for the @womensprize so I had to get stuck in.
It’s hard to describe; visceral, urgent, pounding. Maddeningly brutal. You will find yourself locked inside the innermost thoughts of our nameless main character as she moves through her days, a man at the centre of them — of his industry, of her life. And let’s not forget the social media influencer who she is hate-stalking. Rich, white and connected, she’s all the things our narrator is not — and she is also sleeping with the same man. He’s married too — not to either of them, though.
This novel is not about scenes or about a sense of place. It is — on every level — about voice. And Patel crafts this brilliantly, no two ways about it. Chaya captures its essence excellently in her own review when she depicts the book as a steam of consciousness — it is, in many ways, precisely this.
And within this stream, our narrator’s observations are superb; sharp, accurate and disturbing at times. She’s complex and layered and her words — her voice — casts a powerful light on the issues of race and class in the creative industries. An unquestionably important book that got me thinking and has kept me thinking ever since ~ S