Gomorrah, Baby unearths the cities under the city. A woman walks through a city of crumbling cliffsides, cobblestone alleys, old stone churches, and a winding river dividing it from its western twin. She becomes the lynchpin that holds the city to the earth against the outcry, the pouring down, the small destructions. As people in love with cities have done for centuries, the woman builds a delicious nightmare to stand in front of the slow, unbearable losses. She melds horror with beauty, as if there were any other way to love and belong to a city. Gomorrah, Baby is a love story and a ghost story.
With images both popping and sublime, Vestin illuminates the strange and uniquely human struggle for intimacy with something greater than self. Gomorrah, Baby knows when to start and stop. Not a word could be added to Vestin’s prose, nor subtracted. And there are rich layers here. Layers upon layers, in fact, from our cities to our souls, the sense of which Vestin beautifully captures. In Gomorrah, Baby, we find nothing short of ourselves, here and now, disparate and desperately seeking that which we may not even know we need. But Vestin is a torch-bearer, a guide who leads us to our buried yet still beating hearts.
—Paul Luikart, author of Animal Heart
About Natalie Vestin:
Natalie Vestin is a science writer from Saint Paul, Minnesota. Her essays have appeared in The Normal School, The Iowa Review, Puerto del Sol, and elsewhere. She won Crab Orchard Review’s 2013 John Guyon Literary Nonfiction Prize, the Prairie Schooner 2012 Creative Nonfiction Prize, and the 2012 Sonora Review Essay Prize. Her chapbook, Shine a light, the light won’t pass, was published in 2015 by MIEL Books.
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