Three small-town girls move to the big city in this reissue of a classic 1950s pulp.
Publishers WeeklyOriginally published in 1959 and reissued as part of the Feminist Press's new Femme Fatale series of pulp fiction by women writers, this is genre literature with a few twists. Three young women move to Chicago and room together; each wants to emancipate herself from smalltown mores. Annice, a would-be poet, dreams of associating with the intelligentsia; Pat is a secretary in a publishing firm who develops a powerful attraction to her engaged boss; and Barby is a stunning shop clerk whose sexual desire for her supervisor-a female-takes her by surprise but ultimately enriches her life. Searching for their true identities in an era that values sanitized, middle-class, heterosexual conventions, the girls are faced with the classic choice between "good boys" and "bad boys." Annice is torn between nihilistic artist Alan and stable Midwesterner Jackson, who is studying to be a physicist; Pat must weigh Blake, her philandering boss, against Stan, a junior company man with a longstanding crush on her. The book's insights into issues like sexual abuse, infidelity, the corporate glass ceiling, drug experimentation (there is a wild three-page peyote trip that rivals some Beat writers' renditions) and sexual double standards (and how to manipulate them) are surprisingly modern, though two of the three protagonists eventually drift toward conventional happiness. This is a refreshing entry for the genre, mercifully devoid of the moralistic and cautionary elements common in much 1950s pulp. (Nov. 3) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library JournalWhile most immediately relegate the shadowy world of pulp fiction to male authors, Feminist Press's new "Femmes Fatales: Women Write Pulp" series is reproducing several 1950s-era pulp novels penned by women. Complete with vintage noir covers, the books feature the tough men, sex-crazed women, drugs, booze, homosexuality, and other wonderfully sleazy trappings of the genre. Taylor's 1959 story follows three hayseed girls who come to the wicked city and quickly realize that they're not in Kansas anymore. So bad, it's good. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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