Laura Ellen Joyce: The Luminol Reels


Laura Ellen Joyce

ISBN: 978-1-940853-04-8
100 pages


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Laura Ellen Joyce lectures in literature at York St John University. Her research interests are in experimental literature, gender and sexuality, psychoanalysis, pornography, and ecocriticsm. She was project co-ordinator of the AHRC Global Queer Cinema network between 2012-2013. Her novel, The Museum of Atheism, was published in November 2012.


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 seances of this book are all stained luminescent blue.

«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



Reviews, excerpts, etc:

New Delta Review

NYPL blog

Tarpaulin Sky

Heavy Feather


LARB's Marginalia

The Collagist

Full Stop

Necessary Fiction

Largehearted Boy

Black Sun Lit


excerpt & interview in The Collagist



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