Worlds Beyond My Control

Jane Lazarre, Author Dutton Books $18.95 (176p) ISBN 978-0-525-24976-4
Autobiographical fiction, her forte, again serves Lazarre well in this latest effort, after The Mother Knot. Having last explored the complexities of maternal emotions, Lazarre here uses her alter ego, Julia, to explore the two forces that dominate her life, the conflicting demands of motherhood and a writing career. For Julia, a white woman married to a black man, motherhood has meant a ceaseless struggle to protect her two sons, to keep them safe from the world as well as from her own tempestuous moods, and finally, when they are grown, to let them go. Lazarre explores two problems: the mother's relationship with her children, and the writer's relationship with her friend Martha, details of whose life Julia incorporates in her fiction. Accusing her of being a mediocre writer, Martha says ``Real artists make things up.'' Lazarre/Julia uses autobiography not to tell what happened but to make sense of it, to find her place in the world by writing her way out of the web of her conflicting desires. The person Julia actually is, the person she wishes to become by an act of will, and the person she chooses to be in her fiction converge, in this compelling novel, to give a multifaceted view of a contemporary woman's life. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1991
Release date: 04/01/1991
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