In her blazingly original and unforgettable debut novel Any Man, Amber Tamblyn brings to startling life a specter of sexual violence in the shadowy form of Maude, a serial female rapist who preys on men.
In this electric and provocative debut novel, Tamblyn blends genres of poetry, prose, and elements of suspense to give shape to the shocking narratives of victims of sexual violence, mapping the destructive ways in which our society perpetuates rape culture.
A violent serial rapist is on the loose, who goes by the name Maude. She hunts for men at bars, online, at home— the place doesn’t matter, neither does the man. Her victims then must live the aftermath of their assault in the form of doubt from the police, feelings of shame alienation from their friends and family and the haunting of a horrible woman who becomes the phantom on which society projects its greatest fears, fascinations and even misogyny. All the while the police are without leads and the media hound the victims, publicly dissecting the details of their attack.
What is extraordinary is how as years pass these men learn to heal, by banding together and finding a space to raise their voices. Told in alternating viewpoints signature to each voice and experience of the victim, these pages crackle with emotion, ranging from horror to breathtaking empathy.
As bold as it is timely, Any Man paints a searing portrait of survival and is a tribute to those who have lived through the nightmare of sexual assault.
“An explosive, shapeshifting piece of literary real estate, Amber Tamblyn’s arresting debut offers a scathing portrait of American celebrity culture and the way in which it transmutes human tragedy into a vicious circus; victims are forgotten as likes and shares swirl, and ‘news’ becomes a squalid orgy, a lurid feast. Tamblyn takes every risk in this astonishing and innovative work, and succeeds, gloriously.”
“Amber Tamblyn’s debut novel, Any Man, is a beautifully written and carefully curated examination of toxic masculinity, rape culture and our society as a whole…a sprawling conversation about sexual assault and how prevalent it is in our society, regardless of gender….Everything about this novel is raw and exposed...this is the time to stop denying these things are out there just because hearing, seeing or reading about them makes us want to turn the other way—and that is what Tamblyn has achieved in this novel, a way to make our eyes stay on the page.”