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We are the Birds of the Coming Storm by Lola Lafon

We are the Birds of the Coming Storm

By Lola Lafon
2 Contributors

We Are the Birds of the Coming Storm is a wild novel that oscillates between fiction and reality. The story centers on two young women: Voltairine, a dancer who no longer dances but whose body is still haunted by the movement of dance, and her soulmate Emile, a young woman recovering from unexpected cardiac arrest. The girls are inseparable, and both their lives have been shattered by the horror of rape. The opening of the dreamlike novel sets a bleak stage as Voltairine watches Emile lying in a hospital bed, her temperature dropping to dangerous levels. Voltairine is filled with sorrow and faces the blunt reality that her soulmate is going to die, chronicling each minute in her diary. However, Emile ultimately survives the attack. Later, at the cinematheque, Voltairine and Emile meet a young girl, whom they call "the little girl at the end of the lane," who is obsessed by the Haymarket Affair of 1886. She's an odd girl, obsessed with words, scribbling pages of notes throughout the movie screenings. She helps draw the pair out of their state of painful helplessness, and eventually the trio openly rebels against the newly elected oppressive regime of barbarian kings who rule their society. We Are the Birds of the Coming Storm explores repression, revolt, and madness, telling a story that is not only revolutionary but also cautionary-of three women who let their spirits fly like birds as the daunting storm ascends.

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