Reviser and translator of the B-Ville Manifesto, and sounding board and partner of videomaker, Geneviève de Parnier, the American writer Q Sutherland offered her own contribution to the neo-minimalist B-Ville oeuvre with a series of works interrogating the political and social aspects of constraint and refusal in a naturally burgeoning world.
Her bilingual collection of poems, “Femme renversé,” drew attention from both sides of the Atlantic, though not much in the way of remuneration, and throughout her career she was forced to alternate short literary pieces with work for hire in the fields of journalism, detective fiction and pornography. Her short story “For the Love of Carrots,” written under one of her many pseudonyms, is a prescient nod to the eventual troubles of de Parnier.
She seemed briefly to have achieved mainstreem success when her one-act play, “Diary of a Breast,” opened to rave reviews in a Berlin theater. But though she was proclaimed the next Samuel Beckett’s heir, the play ran only six weeks. Coinciding with the deterioration of the B-Ville group, and Miriam Montrémy’s sudden death, Sutherland decided to abandon Europe for the United States. Shortly afterward, she shocked her family and friends by publishing her own obituary in a local paper. It offers an curious, and not inaccurate, portrait of the artist, “typical of the failed writers of the period.”
Inspired, perhaps, by her own obituary, she wrote a final novel, Asshole, lauded for its fictionalized portrait of life in B-Ville in 2049. Characterized by a searching intelligence, humor, and grace, it marks the end of literary career by an artist as determined to explore earthly realms as her partner de Parnier was to transcend them.