The Defector

Monika Maron, Author Readers International $16.95 (164p) ISBN 978-0-930523-40-4
East Berliner Maron (Flight of Ashes) writes of a woman who defects not from a country but from her life. One day, historian Rosalind Polkowski finds herself in sort of a trance. ""For two days she has been lying, sitting in bed, on the rug, in the chair,'' with no need to sleep, eat or relieve herself. No one misses her, not even her boss. Liberated from the banal responsibilities of her job and faced with an expanse of time, she decides to collect her memories, starting with ``the first catastrophe of my life . . . my birth.'' Like the hero of Gunter Grass's The Tin Drum, Rosalind preferred the womb to the outside world; like Woody Allen, her life has been marked by the pursuit of love and the fear of death. Maron's witty, acerbic style carries Rosalind through childhood incidents, failed relationships, odd friendships, philosophical musings (``It just may be that no one has done anything to me that would bring me to kill'') and bizarre fantasies (her friend Martha's life is threatened by a ``leading member of the Association of Male Poets'' for her ``crime'' of ``linguistic rape''). Through all her ruminations, Rosalind seeks freedom from her past and her obsessions, an internal imprisonment sure to summon the exterior yoke of Communism. Maron's extraordinary writing is banned in East Germany. (April)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Paperback - 150 pages - 978-0-930523-41-1
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