Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sissy Godiva by Mykola Dementiuk

Mykola Dementiuk's books are always an adventure. They represent a slice of life that no doubt rings true for anybody who lived it, but which can seem ugly and sleazy from when viewed from years and miles away. It's rare that you walk away from one of his books in love with any of the characters, but they always undergo a sort of personal transformation that demands a measure of respect.

Here, in Sissy Godiva, it's Vinnie who undergoes a transformation, forced as he is to so boldly confront his blossoming sexuality. He's both attracted to and repulsed by his ex-classmate Joey, who has so successfully been reinvented as the beautiful Sissy Godiva. Watching him dance around the issue, throwing out insults and sneers at every opportunity, is almost as painful as witnessing the disgust and the shame that he feels for himself. As for Sissy Godiva, while she may have gleefully embraced her true self, there's still a lot of shame and fear buried beneath the addictions that get her through the day. If watching Vinnie is painful, than watching Godiva is just sad.

I'm not sure I would ever classify Mick's work as erotic, but it is very sexual. He does a wonderful job of capturing those urgent, desperate, fleeting attempts at physical intimacy, without letting us forget the social context. In terms of endings, this is probably one of my favorites - by no means a happily-ever-after, but an open-ended one, with just a hint of happiness . . . and, one hopes, a little self-acceptance on the horizon.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Sally, this will be submitted to the Lambda Awards later next year and will see where it goes from there. Might even join my two earlier Lambda winners but will see about that.
    Mick Mykola Dementiuk -various e-books
    Lambda Literary Awards Winner 2013/Gay Erotica, 2009/Bisexual Fiction