In not merely because of the unknown that was stalking toward them, Jenny Boully presents us with a deliciously creepy swan song from Wendy Darling to Peter Pan. As in her previous book [one love affair]*, Boully reads between the lines of a text in this case J. M. Barrie s Peter and Wendy and emerges with the darker underside, with those sinister or subversive places merely echoed or hinted at. Funny, sinister, and heartbreaking by turns, not merely because of the unknown that was stalking toward them explores, in dreamy and dark prose, how we love, how we pine away, and how we never stop loving and pining away. Her Neverland is bawdy, bursting, and beautiful.
Peter Pan was a postmodern tour de force written at the height of Modernism -- and if the very best collections of literary art at least gesture toward their immediate influences, this is undoubtedly the contemporary re-treatment that Peter Pan deserves. Boully has captured the darkness of Barrie's text, and in elevating its inter- and sub-textualities to the level of discourse she illuminates and reinvigorates her source material without sacrificing any of its creepiness, wonder, or violence. Simultaneously metaphysical and visceral, these addresses from Wendy to Peter in lyric prose are scary, sexual, and intellectually disarming.
—SETH ABRAMSON, HUFFINGTON POST
Boully, both a poet and an essayist by experience, knows perfectly well how to weave together the intricacies of chosen words and images with an arc essential to an impacting story, and the key to her prose here lies not in its darkness or its grownup-ness, but rather its careful tiptoeing between the minds and hearts of characters whose surfaces we've known for decades.... [T]o delve into Boully's work is to dive with faith from the plank -- to jump, with hope and belief and a wish to see what the author has given us: a fresh, imaginative look at a tale as ageless as Peter himself.
—MICAH MCCRARY, BOOKSLUT
[P]erhaps most prominent are questions related to traditional gender roles and the budding sexuality of the story s youth, which every other adaption appears to have dulled down. . . . [But not merely] offers more questions than answers. Who are the Lost Boys, really, and why are they clothed in bearsuits? What s the history between Peter and Mrs. Darling? How many other little girls did Peter whisk off to Neverland? How does one properly dispose of Never poo? About Tinkerbell, Boully wonders: where ever will we get such small medical supplies for you? The Tinker dental dam; the Tinker tampon. ...
—KRISTIN SANDERS, HTML GIANT
Jenny Boully is a deeply weird writer in the best way. It's not just her subject here, the Peter Pan story, but the way she reconfigures it rips all the stuffing out of it, pops off its heads and parts, then shuffles, sexes, and reanimates it. You might expect her primary mode to be narrative, and it is, but this book's weird sweet homunculus heart is in the inquiry into and against these narratives, and the seams between real and not-real. I for one am glad that Boully sanded that safe, sane veneer right back off the story so it's become raw, confused, glorious, new.
This isn't just a book about pubescent sex or sticking things "in" the other. It's a book about politics of motherhood, of aging, of growing things (babies, gourds, thimbles) inside you and expecting them not to erupt.