REVIEW: “The Sharp Edges of Anger” by Jamie Lackey

Review of Jamie Lackey, “The Sharp Edges of Anger”, Apex Magazine 107 (2018): Read Online. Reviewed by Joanna Z. Weston.

In a world in which anger is a physical substance that can be pulled out of the body, women are expected to relinquish theirs whenever it bubbles up, to swallow it down or squash it. Rose refuses to do that. Obviously, there are consequences, both for her and her loved ones.

The structure of this story really works, touching on Rose’s life between the ages of 10 and 29. It’s hard to cover that much time in a short story, but Lackey manages it well. By letting the story span almost two whole decades, we get a comprehensive look at how Rose’s life plays out, rather than focusing on just one incident. This is necessary in order to tell the story that needs to be told.

The poignant depiction of how removing anger can also remove agency moved me, and the ending, though difficult to read, felt real and inevitable. Highly recommended for anyone (of any gender) whose anger has been silenced.