anaphoric island statement
Middle America becomes a desert in the summer. When lakes don’t feel vast enough for escape, it’s time for ocean, a body of water bigger than her backyard. It’s time to leave artificially tailored suburban men for voluminous freedom. On the beach, she passively celebrates the tactile leisure she cannot at home. Sitting for hours, she molds to the chair and the umbrella rooted in the sand, until the ice cream tastes insipid, until the utopian pleasures become ambiguous and summer is over.
Anaphoric Island is about the temporality of vacation. Beniaris spent her summers in Florida with the women in her life: her grandmother, mother, and older sister, far away from the suburban Midwest. Sometimes by plane, sometimes by minivan, they traveled to temporary independence. Beniaris proposes a society of permanent beach. Creating within the context of a new feminism, Beniaris plays with the banality of the beach vacation in hopes that this American matriarchy can last longer than July.