Paradise Rot, the debut novel from critically acclaimed artist and musician Jenny Hval, presents a heady and hyper-sensual portrayal of sexual awakening and queer desire.
The novel follows Jo, a young Norweigan exhange student in a fictional seaside town in Australia, who moves into a greenhouse-like apartment with a roommate who pushes all boundaries. As mushrooms sprout in the bathroom and apples rot throughout the hallways, Jo finds herself drawn closer to her strange new roomate and their lives and thoughts twist together in exhilerating, terrifying ways. Jo’s sensitivity and all her senses become increasingly heightened and fraught, as the lines between bodies and plants, dreaming and wakefulness, blur and mesh.
Jenny Hval has curated the playlist below to accompany your reading, with songs from the period when she wrote Paradise Rot that relate to the book.
Hval released her last full-length album, Blood Bitch, in 2016, and her latest EP is The Long Sleep.