Monday, December 11, 2006

Two Serious Ladies by Jane Bowles

This novel is wonderfully strange. I've decided that one of my favorite sub-genres is writing about strange women. Or women behaving strangely. What's interesting about the novel is that Bowles creates the sense of strangness by yes, creating characters who are atypical and act against cultural norms, but more importantly by leaving out the reactions of other people or of a narrator or of anyone who might say, boy that's weird. So you get the women behaving strangely but very rarely do you get any commentary on what they're doing. So you as the reader watch their acts, eavesdrop on their conversations, and are left to interpret completely on your own. It's like Hemingway for girls.

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