In this collection of stories and illustrations, Szaflarski
examines the subject of violence, in particular as it is experienced through
the female body. Beginning with an autobiographical experience, the story
triggers a dissociative state that plunges the book in and out of imaginary
worlds and associative narrative threads.
Very Normal People, starts as a story of domestic violence, but
moves on to larger ideas of inter-human violence as well as violence that
occurs between humans and non-humans. Szaflarski considers the rage and
potential violence that she knowingly carry around inside of her. She
questions the physical location of the woman's corporeal boundary ;
expecting it to be the sturdy walls that define her unquestioned bodily
property, instead to find that she doubts that they can actually protect
her, even legally. Is the idea of a private boundary only a pacifier,
while in reality the trip wire of our secure perimeter is inevitably and
frequently set off by both human and non-human violators. And lastly, who
owns these stories? Although personal stories of violence are so
commonplace, why are so many discredited and minimized, while others are
celebrated with praise and financial rewards?
Born 1984 in St. Catharines, Ontario, Anna M. Szaflarski lives and works in Berlin.