Is This What Other Women Feel Too?

June A. Seese, Author Dalkey Archive Press $19.95 (151p) ISBN 978-0-916583-82-8
``We all wore bras in 1954.'' So begins Detroit native Kate McGhee's journal-like reminiscences in Akers Seese's ( What Waiting Really Means ) touching--at times jarring--second novel. Kate reveals her story through a combination of devices: correspondence with her girlfriend Parker who works in publishing in racy New York, snatches of conversation with her analyst, Dr. Koltonow, and brief entries in her own telling voice. After the death of her older lover, Kate finds solace in reading and becomes a librarian. At Parker's urging, she turns to psychoanalysis and struggles with a depression rooted in her traumatic childhood; later she begins a journal-writing group for school dropouts. From bra-stuffing to Janis Joplin, e. e. cummings to Lenny Bruce, Neutrogena soap to the race riots in Detroit, well-chosen details give texture to the characters' lives. Kate's depression is painful but her attitude never entirely humorless, and the counterpoint between her sometimes resigned, generally cynical (but always intelligent) voice and the snappy letters from Parker keeps the pace brisk. The novel ends ambiguously, both hopeful and a drop despairing. ( Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
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