Night Rooms: Essays (Paperback)
Lovers of the personal essay will be thrilled by this innovative collection. --Publishers Weekly
"In a horror movie, an infected character may hide a bite or rash, an urge, an unwellness. She might withdraw or act out, or behave as if nothing is the matter, nothing has happened. Any course of action opposite saying how she feels suggests suffering privately is preferable to the anticipated betrayal of being cast out."
Night Rooms is a poetic, intimate collection of personal essays that weaves together fragmented images from horror films and cultural tropes to meditate on anxiety and depression, suicide, body image, identity, grief, and survival.
Whether competing in shopping mall beauty pageants, reflecting on childhood monsters and ballet lessons, or recounting dark cultural ephemera while facing grief and authenticity in the digital age, Gina Nutt's shifting style echoes the sub-genres that Night Rooms highlights--spirit-haunted slow burns, possession tales, slashers, and revenge films with a feminist bent.
Refracting life through the lens of horror films, Night Rooms masterfully leaps between reality and movies, past and present--because the "final girl's" story is ultimately a survival story told another way.
Whether she's uncovering connections between her homebuyer's course and haunted house movies, her wedding anniversary and Victorian taxidermy tableaux, or her shopping mall's glass elevator and destiny, Gina Nutt writes prose so astonishing I want to read it in an MRI machine just to confirm that every part of my brain indeed lit up. Night Rooms is a brilliant, beautiful, boundlessly inventive book. --Jeannie Vanasco, author of Things We Didn't Talk About When I Was a Girl