Any Woman’s Blues
Written by Erica John, this novel begins with a foreword by feminist scholar Caryl Fleishmann-Stanger, who explains her role in editing the novel ANY WOMAN’S BLUES, by Isadora Wing, which describes a period in the life of the artist Leila Sands. By creating this elaborate authorial structure, Jong questions the role of authority in a relationship. Authority implies domination in a relationship, an unequal interaction; the struggle to free oneself from the need to be dominated and the need to dominate is the central theme of the novel.
Jong offers creative equality between herself and her characters, the first step in freeing oneself from domination. Within the novel. Wing interrupts the narrative to protest its direction: She and the character Leila Sands argue briefly, Sands overrides Wing’s opposition, and the story continues. In the foreword, Fleishmann-Stanger explains that she inserted these interruptions, based on notations that Wing made in the margins of the original manuscript. Thus, these interruptions--which are an interpretation of the relationship between Sands and Wing--are Fleishmann-Stanger’s creative input to the novel. Finally, Wing reappears in the afterward, reasserting her creative role and getting the last word.
In the story, Leila Sands battles her addiction to her sexual relationship with her young lover, Dart Donegal. Told through Sands’s eyes, the story paints Dart as a weak, manipulative, and immature young...
(The entire section is 448 words.)