I’m very slowly making my way through LAST WORDS FROM MONTMARTRE by QIU MIAOJIN, translated by Ari Larissa Heinrich.
This book begins by telling the reader to “begin anywhere”. It’s a collection of letters. Some to Xu. Some to Yong. Some that read more like a journal entry. But the narrator is unnamed.
The reason I’m taking this book slowly is it’s full of all this raw emotion that’s pouring out. It’s intense in its musings and meanderings over love and loss.
Perhaps the hardest part about reading this is knowing that Qiu committed suicide not long after finishing this book (before it was published). She was only 26. And knowing that, I can’t help but read this novel wondering if it’s fiction or based on Qiu’s life.
“True love makes it through any ordeal. I yearn to be in a relationship that can shake off the frosty wind and the couple still stands hand in hand. I yearn for a love that, because of devoted vigilance, can withstand time’s ceaseless erosion and come out alive.”
Qiu is known as the pioneer of Taiwanese queer literature. She also wrote NOTES OF A CROCODILE.