The Terrible Girls

Rebecca Brown, Author City Lights Books $11.95 (136p) ISBN 978-0-87286-266-1
Brown's ( The Children's Crusade ) collection of short stories is not for the light-hearted or optimistic. Throughout she traces unfulfilled lesbians in unsuccessful relationships, bearing burdens of pain that cannot be purged even by self-mutilation. The symbolic meaning underneath these often allegorical tales is most directly presented in a story about a woman carrying a burdensome bag on her back. Even after burying the bag, the narrator cannot escape its weight and remains waiting. The women who inhabit these gothic landscapes are all waiting for something, whether the commitment of a lover caught up in her own life or the return of a lover for whom a narrator has given her right arm, quite literally. Unfortunately, Brown is not able to present any picture of what sort of fruit all of this waiting around might bear. In an allegory on radical feminism, Brown sets up a conflict in a kingdom of gender oppression between a resistance movement and Lady Bountiful, who once flirted with the resistance but instead abandoned her principles, and her lover, to marry Lord Bountiful. This story offers the most action and most developed characters in the collection but suffers from self-righteousness. (June)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/2001
Open Ebook - 978-1-322-37102-3
Ebook - 136 pages - 978-0-87286-639-3
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