The drag hall, in This Brutal House, is a sort of church and sanctuary, a community of the oppressed rising in celebration: “a luminescence… ethereal and without a place on this earth, bar this space, this home”. “Voguing,” Govinden tells us, “is like communing with spirits”. This is an important, and in places an experimental book, full of spark and wisdom. Its tone is in place elegiac, in others vibrant. Like the best drag acts, This Brutal House leaves its reader full of a powerful, protesting energy. As the vogue caller shouts: “Walk. Walk. Walk. Walk. Walk. Walk. Walk. Walk. Walk. Walk. Pray your maker sees you. Walk”.
The Book of Science and Antiquities
"It would be a crime to give away anything more, but the end of this beautiful novel made me cry. Jones writes with intelligence and a lively wit, but there’s more — a warmth that forces you to care about these people as if you had met them...."
— The Times
3 out of 5
As we await the second season of the TV drama Pose, the award-winning author Govinden brings us a timely queer protest novel set in the drag ball community of New York City. Vivid and poetic, the story explores belonging, tolerance and what it means to be a parent in a confused and complex society.