by Alyssa Songsiridej
Why We Chose It
It’s the sexiest book we’ve read in a long time. The unnamed narrator of Little Rabbit is a young queer woman living in Boston with her roommate, Annie. At an artists’ residency in Maine, our narrator (an unpublished writer) meets a man (an established choreographer) two decades older than her. She’s repelled by him at first, but after the residency, she finds herself drawn to see a dance performance of his and then into his life, his home in the Berkshires, his New York City apartment, and his art. Their relationship, their sex, and the way she desires to submit to him both challenge and expand her sense of self.
This is a seductive, deeply complex exploration of power and agency, and lust and love. It rushes through you and leaves you stunned. Read a sneak peek here.
WATCH THE CHAT
Author Alyssa Songsiridej chats with goop editor Kiki Koroshetz.
About the Author
Alyssa Songsiridej is an editor at Electric Literature. Her fiction has appeared in StoryQuarterly, Indiana Review, The Offing, and Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art and has been supported by Yaddo, the Ucross Foundation, the Ragdale Foundation, the Vermont Studio Center, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Mass Cultural Council. Little Rabbit is her first novel. She lives in Philadelphia.
Photo courtesy of Jaypix Belmer
A Q&A WITH ALYSSA SONGSIRIDEJ
How did the idea for Little Rabbit come to you?
I’ve always wanted to write a literary novel where a woman really lusts after a man and it doesn’t destroy her life. Female desire is not often depicted in literary works, and when it is, it’s usually paired with punishment or tragedy. I want more writing that takes female lust seriously and centers it as a subject for high art.
Also, in winter 2020, I listened to the audiobook of Mating in Captivity by the relationship therapist Esther Perel and was really intrigued by the section on Perel’s clients who are strong feminist women who realize they like to be dominated in bed. Perel described the women as worrying that these desires somehow detracted from their egalitarian values. I realized I wanted to write an empathetic, embodied account of one woman grappling with this same experience.
What’s your relationship to dance?
I am an avid admirer of dance with two left feet. I love to dance in a casual way—like back in the Before Times, when it was more relaxed to go to dance parties—but I don’t have any formal training myself. I was lucky, though, in 2019, to overlap at a residency with a choreographer and two of his dancers (not a basis for the choreographer, though I’m sure you don’t believe me). During the residency, we got to see him creating new movement on these dancers. I didn’t understand before how dependent choreography is on a specific person’s body. The process totally captivated me—it seemed so different from writing, where you’re all hunched up at a desk forgetting to take care of your physical needs. I became completely envious and decided I wanted to write about dance.
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