"her unique form is an expansive and exciting way forward"

Written by Ryan Thier for Full Stop on Friday, August 26th, 2022

Form is the best tool a novelist has to flesh out the strange shape of this situation. In The Drowned Forest, Angela Barry adeptly uses form for the very purpose of portraying a country and its citizens in the midst of a project—one simultaneously unified and diffuse—of excision, addition, revision, invention, and reckoning. Every perspective is given a God-like authority. Every word is somehow the last word. But then there is another word. In a book about the struggle for authenticity amidst artifice, for freedom amidst falsification, her unique form is an expansive and exciting way forward.