Bogeywoman

Jaimy Gordon, Author Sun and Moon Press $12.95 (300p) ISBN 978-1-55713-348-9
Funny and creative, a playful and intelligent addition to the coming-out genre, this is a highly entertaining novel from Gordon (She Drove Without Stopping). Narrator Ursula Koderer, the self-described bogeywoman of the title, has a troubling tendency to fall in lust and love with ""girlgoyles,"" those alluring creatures with ""luscious round bumps instead of icky frog danglies."" Ursula starts her story at age 16, at her beloved Camp Chunkagunk, ""Tough Paradise for Girls,"" where she yearns for the girlgoyle Lou Rae Greenrule. After an unplanned expedition off camp grounds with Lou Rae gets Ursula in big trouble, her TV-personality father sends her to an expensive Baltimore mental hospital. There the team of ""dreambox mechanics"" (psychiatrists) includes one Madame Zuk with whom Ursula falls instantly, complexly and curatively in love. Much of the rest of the novel takes place in and around what Ursula calls ""the bughouse,"" where Ursula's desperately rebellious tactics--seducing, stealing equipment, contriving to form a musical group--make a perfect fit for the jubilant fireworks of her narrative voice: ""Then I heard an exotic familiar squinch, and taking my chin to the floor I saw... the silver sandals of Doctor Zuk.... I heard, illegibly vibrating, the low tobacco-cured c-string of her voice. She was sort of crooning sumpm. My heart drowned."" Bits of Gordon's verbal technique evoke Ulysses, Lolita, Salinger, David Foster Wallace and Jeanette Winterson, but she sounds like none of these for long: her concatenation of surprising events, her intoxicatingly unhinged prose style and her get-down-and-roll-in-the-mud passion for language make this an extraordinary piece of fiction. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 10/04/1999
Release date: 10/01/1999
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 978-1-55713-349-6
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-307-94689-8
Open Ebook - 170 pages - 978-0-307-94690-4
Paperback - 500 pages - 978-1-933382-61-6
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