MANEATER by Jean-Marie Bub goes beyond being a collection of poetry and prose. It is art. It is a safe space. It is a tool for survivors and it is a voice in itself. A voice which loudly proclaims, despite the pain, ‘I am here and I intend to stay.’
Bub treats her work and activism with an admirable duty of care. From the opening author’s note warning any reader to pace and look after themselves, to the workbook elements of this collection, to the prompts and the helplines and organisations listed at the end. Thus, although the subject material is heavy, raw and visceral, Bub is intent on cradling her reader throughout, and she undoubtedly achieves this.
Often, I treat books as objects to be kept in the condition you bought them, but one third into reading MANEATER I realised this is a collection to treasure by making it yours. I have dog-eared multiple pages and located my trauma and hope within, then heard it spoken with indomitable power.
Bub’s words embody an impenetrable sharpness and softness. She reveals the dichotomy of survival – wishing to live in star bright fullness yet always planning an escape.
The artwork and photography throughout is superb, showcasing Bub’s talent, creativity and her ability to turn pain into something to be admired. Alongside poems like the Briseis acrostic and ‘Healed But Never Forgotten’, it is clear that Bub’s creations are to be respected and trusted.
MANEATER will, as Bub promises, awaken something within you and I wholeheartedly recommend you read it and see who you discover within.