Taddeo’s Animal follows the inner thoughts and actions of Joan, a fractured woman who has, self-admittedly, engaged in all manners of self-harm. And though Joan’s anger manifests at the men in her life as either a direct or indirect source of this harm, there is an unspoken air of responsibility about it all, as if she is aware through her anger that much of it may be equally directed at herself.

Certainly not for the easily offended, Animal does not hold back when exploring the tumultuous relationship between men and women. The sexuality can sometimes be jarring, but is witnessed and commented on by Joan in a somewhat genuine manner, despite the fact that Joan is, to some extent, in her own world and inaccessible to us.

An exploration of trauma, manifested as confusion, which unloads itself within Taddeo’s world, Animal is an enjoyable read that will leave readers perplexed, damaged, but immersed. The novel flows smoothly, written with a pacing that keeps the reader entertained despite being bombarded with heavy themes.

Animal | Rating: 5 Stars | Genre: Literary Fiction | Tags: women, misogyny, anger | Author: Lisa Taddeo | Publisher: Avid Reader Press | Pages: 332 | ISBN: 978-1526630933 | Purchase
Author: Lisa Taddeo
Taddeo's work has appeared in The Best American Political Writing and The Best American Sports Writing anthologies. Taddeo was an associate editor at Golf Magazine when David Granger assigned her first piece for Esquire, "The Last Days of Heath Ledger", after reading her unpublished novel. In 2015 The Washington Post named her New York Magazine piece, "Rachel Uchitel is Not A Madam", one of their top five long reads that stand the test of time. In 2013 she appeared in Esquire Network's 80th Anniversary special. She was awarded the William Holodnok Fiction Prize and the Florence Engel Randall Award in fiction.

Her book Three Women was released in July 2019 by Simon and Schuster.