In the tradition of Audre Lorde’s The Cancer Notebooks and works by Lucia Perillo, Linda Gregg, and Jane Kenyon, Mosquito uses a literary format as a way to deal with serious illness and recovery. Lemon underwent brain surgery as a young man, and Mosquito turns that life-changing event into a vibrantly imagistic, poetic autobiography. The book is arranged in four parts. The first part tracks the emotional journey of the speaker during a grave illness, meditating unsentimentally on the grim details of hospitalization and surgery. Part two expands into the speaker’s erotic life, plunging into sexuality as a realm that resonates with both life and death. The last two parts explore the speaker’s world, historical and familial, as he is transformed by his trials. Lemon’s magnum opus is an anguished, observant, and resilient meditation as much zen as it is explosive, as clinical as it is philosophical and lyrical.
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Published September 1, 2006
by Tin House Books.
Literature & Fiction.