‘Waif’: I fully support women’s rights AND women’s wrongs.

November 16, 2022

AUTHOR: Samantha Kolesnik
GENRE: Horror
PAGES: 114pg
PUBLISHER: Grindhouse Press

Angela has everything she thought she ever wanted—a successful husband, a lavish house, and a bottomless fortune.

But the sight of a strange man in a grocery store one night reawakens her dormant sexuality and soon Angela embarks on a dangerous descent into the world of underground pornography and back-alley plastic surgery.

As the stakes get higher, long-buried memories resurface and Angela finds herself enamored with Reena, a fetish film performer. With some help from a queer gang called The Waifs, Angela is forced to make the decision between her unhappy upper-class life and the treacherous world of underground film.

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The world of men required certain sacrifices of me and I had simply tired of making them. It was high time for men to sacrifice for me.

You know that meme that’s like, “I support women’s rights, but more importantly, I support women’s wrongs”? That’s what comes to mind when I think of this novella.

I had read a little of Samantha Kolesnik’s writing before, but this was my first foray into her novellas, and I wasn’t totally sure what to expect from the storyline. What I got was not what I anticipated, because frankly, it was a much wilder ride than I thought it would be (and I mean this as a massive compliment!) and I never knew what was coming next. Angie is a delightfully vindictive, flawed protagonist who has simply had enough and is content to sit by and watch her little corner of the world burn for a bit, and I loved it.

The writing in this novella was beautiful and thickly feminist, frequently commenting on the way women are so often used and discarded in romantic relationships and offering up a sweet piece of vengeance pie for everyone who’s ever been treated like shit by someone who ultimately needs you more than you need them. I recommend this story wholeheartedly and can’t wait to read more from this author.

content warnings →

body horror, medical trauma, medical disfigurement, violence, murder, homophobia, domestic abuse, sexual assault, parent loss, internalized victim-shaming, internalized bi-erasure, misogyny, body-shaming, mention of necrophilia

representation →

Angie is queer, multiple queer side characters


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