The Made-up Man

Karen Heuler. Univ. of West Alabama/Livingston (www.livingstonpress.uwa.edu), $21 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-60489-081-5
Faust meets feminism in Heuler’s jumbled third novel. Alyson Salky, a deeply unpleasant and unlikable 35-year-old editorial assistant, has been abandoned by her boyfriend for her best friend and passed over for promotion in favor of a less competent man. After briefly succumbing to hysteria, she promises the Devil her soul in exchange for a magical sex change, believing this will lead to power and prestige. When Alyson gets her wish and becomes Bob, he learns that manhood, vengeance, and success are harder than they look, perhaps because changing sex has made him no less whiny or shallow. Heuler (The Soft Room) trowels competent prose over an unsteady construction of chick lit, sitcom, philosophical tract, and literary novel. A consequence-free ending only furthers the damaging attitudes about sex, gender, and heterosexuality that the story supposedly seeks to question. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/10/2011
Release date: 11/01/2011
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 222 pages - 978-1-60489-080-8
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