March 2024 Dispatch

Melissa Morano Aurigemma
3 min readApr 5, 2024


I read some very disgusting books this month. They were amazing but the type of book its important to brace yourself for. Don’t try to read while eating. Those types of books. It wasn’t all like that but definitely a more intense sort of plot with a few of these.

The Glutton — A.K. Blakemore

French Revolution. A medical mystery. Compelling character development and intrigue throughout. Vile, gruesome, startling — a great read if you’re into shock and awe and aversion!

A Frozen Woman — Annie Ernaux

Ok, yes - I continue to make my way through Ernaux’s work (see the fifth item on this list for further evidence of this). A timeless tale of woman — career — family; but thoroughly interrogated very honestly. No shirking away from the (still pervasive) conundrum of one parter desiring the smart, sophisticated, ambitious counterpart which then potentially gets diluted with a desire for their own career trajectory, a well-kept house and home (and potentially, as in this case, offspring).

Ema, The Captive — César Aira

Aira is prolific and in my mind also a genius. This, one of his longer and also earlier works, tells an incredible tale of female fortitude, observation, and ultimately ingenuity.

The Green Man of Eshwood Hall — Jacob Kerr

This one wasn’t exactly disgusting…but it was disturbing. I enjoyed it thoroughly. It was cringey in all the right ways. I will say no more for fear of conveying too much of the plot! If you like sinister stories and myth and tales that take place on old estates…grab this one.

Shame — Annie Ernaux

Here we are — another Ernaux. This one more about piercing the veil of childhood innocence. Relatable. I kept reading certain passages over and over.

In The Act — Rachel Ingalls

Short and hilarious read. Includes humanoid robots. I will say no more.

Brainwyrms — Alison Rumfitt

Ahhhhh this book. Whoa. Uhm. Grotesque? Yes, definitely. But politically and socially relevant? And horrifying? Also, very much yes. Transphobia is a key topic in this one (also important TW for sexual violence, eating disorders, and more). I felt like this was incredibly powerful — not just because of how alarmed you are reading the language but also the societal critique which amplified the disgust while also being genuinely thought provoking. The provocation is warranted and this book I will not soon forget.

Poetry pick: A Summer Day in the Company of Ghosts — Wang Yin

Let me just say that reading poetry (and other works honestly) in translation I do feel a bit conflicted about — I feel it is extremely important but I also feel guilty, like I should know more languages..! In the absence of knowing more languages and in fact knowing very few, translated works it is. This was (I’m not going to excel at describing it) spiritual and glowing in some way. Poems radiated a certain warmth. This is starting to devolve into making very little sense, but in summary, I enjoyed this thoroughly and hope to find more of Wang Yin’s work in translation.

Next up: April? I need to buy a copy of Hanif Abdurraqib’s new book. I also started A Philosophy of Walking a few weeks ago but never finished it, so that is on deck as well.



Melissa Morano Aurigemma

Philosopher, artist, poet, etc, etc by night and by day Chief of Staff at Exceptional Capital