Fiction by K Allado-McDowell
With drawings by Lydia Maria Pfeffer
Amor Cringe explores the dually base and beautiful aspects of self-obsessed media culture. In a perennial bohemian style, an unnamed, ungendered protagonist travels from coast to coast and affair to affair, stumbling upon various moments of failure, absurd insight, and flashes of transcendence.
Half traditionally-written and half AI-generated, Amor Cringe is a "deepfake autofiction" novelette about a TikTok influencer that seeks God, created with the intention to be "as cringe as possible.” The result is a painfully self-aware series of encounters that exfoliate the repulsive and fascinating aesthetics of romantic life under social media.
“Allado-McDowell deftly shepherds the machine through a series of fractional subjectivities, producing prose that careens between sacred and vulgar, colloquial and arresting. Amor Cringe is a Bretonesque, bawdy necromancy that will enthrall you and make you laugh.”
– Allison Parrish, Assistant Arts Professor, NYU ITP/IMA
“Hallucinogenic, scary, sexy, and strange, Amor Cringe is a magnificent shock to the system. It reads like a prayer, a song, a voice from the beyond.”
– Elvia Wilk
“Writing is always writing-with. In K Allado-McDowell’s Amor Cringe, it’s a writing with all that’s fallen in language, about culture, the material so exquisitely worn (and worn down) that you see where the folds and joins are. Sentences that are genius or dumb as a box of hammers, or both, or neither. Delightful like dime-store candy, or a lighter you found on the ground that works.”
– McKenzie Wark
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