Cinestate has revealed the cover to the upcoming horror novel Headcheese, which was written by award-winning author Jess Hagemann. The art, done by Chris Panatier, can be seen to the right. The novel itself is scheduled to come out December 18 (pre-order on Amazon), just in time to read it at the dinner table and gross your parents out.
“The day that Lorrie “accidentally” cuts off her little toe, she discovers what it’s like to be able-bodied… and not want that body. After Bartholomew loses his left arm to a Sunni sniper, he’s inspired to start a new kind of church ― one where both amputation and sex are types of performance art. Trice, a prosthetics engineer, receives the assignment of a lifetime when he’s asked to rebuild his son’s crippled frame. Haunted by the memory of his dead wife, George must take the ultimate measure to excise her ghost. For good.
From sexual fetish to the clinical diagnosis of Body Integrity Identity Disorder, Headcheese makes the first cut, peeling back the epidermis to peer inside the minds and hearts of 26 people navigating the topography of flesh.”
Hagemann explains, “I wrote Headcheese because I wanted to write a psychosexual horror novel that explored life (and specifically the body) through the lens of neurodiversity—an approach to mental health that chalks up ‘neurological differences’ (like Body Integrity Identity Disorder, for example) to natural variations in the human genome. In other words, I don’t believe that individuals who want to cut their limbs off are freaks. I think they’re people with non-neurotypical affinities that can manifest in myriad ways. That’s why Headcheese has 26 characters: I needed at least that many to talk about the different ways that amputation fetishes and BIID play out in real life.”
“My hope,” she continues, “is that anyone who has ever felt like a freak for any reason — I know I certainly have! — will, after reading Headcheese, find reasons to cut themselves a little slack; to embrace what makes them different; to celebrate and seek to understand those who are different from them.