Corey Fah Does Social Mobility: A BUST Review

by Rufus Hickok

A writer arrives in an unnamed national capital to receive an award for excellence in “The Fictionalization of Social Evils”—a prize that apparently comes in the form of a hovering UFO. Instead of receiving it, however, they’re saddled with a four-legged insectoid, Bambi, who popped out of the same wormhole that took the levitating trophy. Who might understand their dilemma? Perhaps their favorite game-show host, Sean St. Orton, whose program features his futile search for wormholes. But it’s possible he could also be the murdered gay playwright Joe Orton, saved in 1967 by another wormhole. Got it?

Isabel Waidner wrote this surreal and frequently hilarious novel after their previous novel, Sterling Karat Gold, won the Goldsmiths Prize in 2021. A quick read and a real mind-bender, Corey Fah Does Social Mobility is inspired satirical lunacy that delves deeply into social class, how marginalized creators are made to chase after cultural capital with no hope of catching it, queer and nonbinary visibility, capitalism, meat production, and the nature of love. If it doesn’t become a cult classic, there’s no justice in this—or any other—reality. 

Image Via Graywolf Press

You may also like

Get the print magazine.

The best of BUST in your inbox!

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter

About Us

Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

©2023 Street Media LLC.  All Right Reserved.