Roach, A. C. (2022). Cadaver. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.14418/wes01.1.2573
Cadaver is a coming-of-age novella that explores the untimely death of the narrator’s aunt, who drowns in the Mediterranean Sea under mysterious circumstances. The narrator, a young woman who has recently graduated from college, finds herself accompanying her younger and more extroverted cousin to Italy, the location of the death, on a mission to identify the body and find out more about the circumstances of the tragedy, all while grappling with her long-term but increasingly dissatisfying romantic relationship, her fraught dynamic with her mother, and concerns about her sexuality. The female body—its desires, its appearance, its manipulation, its destruction—lies at the center of the narrative, undergirding many of the narrator’s preoccupations. In the aftermath of the trip, the narrator gains insight into the balance between freedom and stability and the ways that loss, in all its forms, can complicate and even enlarge one’s life.