Publication Day of Laura Ellen Joyce’s THE LUMINOL REELS

Today is the official release date of Laura Ellen Joyce’s The Luminol Reels.


The Luminol Reels is a baroque phantasmagoria, where haunting thematicsof various embodiednesses and dismembermentsand a densely textured syntax, make for a text as engagingly strange as it is disturbingly morbid. Eye on Bataille, you’ll find Kathy Acker in here, hemorrhaging up language alongside Joyelle McSweeney, Jason Schwartz, and Rob Hardin, and other aestheticians of erotics, violence, and excess.

When human blood reacts with luminol, it lights up a ghostly blue. This reaction, most commonly used to detect whether violence has taken place at suspected crime scenes, combines the human and the chemical, it invokes violence and disposability but also transformation. The Luminol Reels takes its imagery from pornography, Catholicism, and crime scene investigation to interrogate the violence done to women. It considers the ongoing brutality of the femicides in Ciudad Juarez and the institutional misogyny of the Catholic Church. Violence is intrinsically linked to location, and the shrines, quinceañera parties, holy communions, and séances of this book are all stained luminescent blue.

These reels just might make you reel.



“A fierce and deadly little fantasia that bites its way deep into your brain.”

— Brian Evenson


“‘We were plump and pretty, our skin glowed like Chinese lanterns and he wanted our laughter for himself ’: In The Luminol Reels, Laura Ellen Joyce finds the blue-glowing, b-movie heart of Plath’s and Ballard’s atrocity exhibitions and the parapornography of reliquaries. Joyce may write: ‘This one is for the sickos,’ but this is a book for readers who are into David Lynch, Aase Berg, Bluebeard (any version), hagiography; ‘splatter gurlesque’ and media theory. In other words: people who want their reading to feel like drinking ‘luminol margaritas.’”

—Johannes Göransson



Laura Ellen Joyce is the author of The Museum of Atheism (Salt Publishing). Her fiction and poetry have appeared in Paraxis, Succour, The Manchester Anthology, Murmurations: An Anthology of Uncanny Stories about Birds, and on the Quick Fictions app. Joyce lectures in literature at York St. John University. Her research interests include experimental literature, gender and sexuality, psychoanalysis, pornography, and eco-criticsm. The Luminol Reels (Calamari Press) is her second novel.


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