It seems at first a novel of friendship between women - a rich vein for any writer - but in The Paper Wasp, Lauren Acampora upends convention, creating an unsettling (and impossible to put down) story about art and ambition, fame and power. A beautiful and surprising book.
The Paper Wasp is a crazy joy ride of a novel; a bold and joyous take on female friendship, outsider ambition and the secret powers of loners. It gives us a heroine who is selfish, weird, and manipulative, and makes us root for her with all our selfish, weird, and manipulative hearts. I loved every second of it.
A lyrical, provocative, imaginative page turner that makes the world feel new again, The Paper Wasp is both a stunning portrait of a fixated woman and an addictive, modern commentary on an eternal theme of obsession. In her glittering, goosebump-inducing prose, Lauren Acampora gives us a soul trip/head trip/rarefied LA trip replete with surrealism and social commentary.
Acampora is an exquisite stylist who misses no shade or psychological texture and who also plumbs depths of feeling in note-perfect prose that leaves one stunned at the artistry on display. The Paper Wasp is a powerful statement of aesthetic purpose, and an unalloyed triumph.
Thrilling . . . Acampora writes propulsive sentences at a fever pitch. Told in the second person, the novel is by turns a confession, an accusation, and a stalker's diary, yet it is also grounded by Acampora's musings on philosophy, art, and ambition. Abby is a unique heroine making all the wrong choices feel somehow right and just. Utterly bizarre and completely bewitching, this twisted, delicious tale will grab you from the first page and hurl you over the edge.
Acampora's accomplished prose style and the complexity of the themes she addresses catapults this story into the freshly minted category of literary psycho thriller.