When meat’s the only thing left to eat.
by Maya Fowler
(via The Lennon-Ritchie Agency)
Fifteen year old Natalie has had a horror of blood and meat since the day her bother, Flynn now 17, raped her at age 9. Yet sheand her family (mother, Viv, former trophy wife, now hapless housewife; father, Ray, former accountant, now handyman; andgrandmother, Eleanor) are trapped on an enormous factory farm in a world where climate change has left plant cropsdevastatingly rare, and the Corporation ensures meat is virtually all there is to eat. With grains grown exclusively for raisingcattle, pigs and chicken for slaughter, and greens a black-market luxury, Natalie is emaciated, bitter and angry. She is desperateto escape, but electric fences and the draconian punishments of the Corporation stand in her way.
In contrast to his sister, Flynn is passive, complacent to the horrors of the farm, and hobbled by guilt and shame over the abuse.With a pet rat his only friend, he goes about the daily grind, wishing for a way to make amends to Natalie, who bristles at hisevery advance.
One night Flynn helps Natalie steal apples from the farmer’s private orchard; the farmer’s devious, arrogant 11-year-old son,Brett, sees them and threatens to tell, which would get them killed. In a scuffle on a wall overlooking the free-range pig pen,Natalie pushes Brett to his death, where he is eaten alive by the pigs. Afterwards, the entire farm is in fear, wondering who mightbe blamed and put to death.
Quietly nightmarish and utterly gripping, the psychological horror DEAD MEAT has all the makings of a cult classic. It may besome time before you’re able to eat a bacon sandwich again.
Maya Fowler is a South African novelist, editor and translator, currently living in Vancouver, Canada. She is the author of the novels Patagonia, The Elephant in the Room and Tebatso Gaan See Toe. Her current focus is literary and general fiction, although she’s produced award-winning workfor young adults and children.