Nothing Looks Familiar
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"I won't go out with another man on the killing floor," says Wanda, the narrator of 'On the Line,' in the opening line of Shawn Sym's debut collection Nothing Looks Familiar. "I can't stand the smell of them, or their attitudes."
Wanda's potential suitors work with her in a meat-packing plant, and carry the smell of dead flesh on their skin. Her preoccupation with their bodies' scent is understandable. It is also emblematic of the author's thematic concerns.
Seeing that it was recommended for people as young as 12, I didn't have high hopes for Science World pushing the envelope in their Science of Sexuality exhibit this summer. How graphic, how detailed, how varied could it be? Could adults take something away from it? Would it prove to be entirely heteronormative? Or try to consist purely of the "hard science" facts and leave out sociological considerations of sexuality? I decided to find out.