Women and Menby Joseph McElroy
Beginning in childbirth and entered like a multiple dwelling in motion, Women and Men embraces and anatomizes the 1970s in New Yorkfrom experiments in the chaotic relations between the sexes to the flux of the city itself. Yet through an intricate overlay of scenes, voices, fact, and myth, this expanding fiction finds its way also across continents and into… See more details below
Beginning in childbirth and entered like a multiple dwelling in motion, Women and Men embraces and anatomizes the 1970s in New Yorkfrom experiments in the chaotic relations between the sexes to the flux of the city itself. Yet through an intricate overlay of scenes, voices, fact, and myth, this expanding fiction finds its way also across continents and into earlier and future times and indeed the Earth, to reveal connections between the most disparate lives and systems of feeling and power. At its breathing heart, it plots the fuguelike and fieldlike densities of late-twentieth-century life.
McElroy rests a global vision on two people, apartment-house neighbors who never quite meet. Except, that is, in the population of others whose histories cross theirsbelievers and skeptics; lovers, friends, and hermits; children, parents, grandparents, avatars, and, apparently, angels. For Women and Men shows how the families through which we pass let one person's experience belong to that of many, so that we throw light on each other as if these kinships were refracted lives so real as to be reincarnate.
A mirror of manners, the book is also a meditation on the languagesrich, ludicrous, exact, and also Americanin which we try to grasp the world we're in. Along the kindred axes of separation and intimacy Women and Men extends the great line of twentieth-century innovative fiction.
"Once in a great while there is published a book that judges us, a book so rich in knowledge, imagination, and feelingin artthat the reader is ravished and humbled, changed, made thankful. Joseph McElroy's mammoth Women and Men is that kind of book, the most important novel to appear in American since Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow. (Tom LeClair, Washington Post Book World 3-22-87)
"McElroy's astonishing epic . . . stretch[es] our minds, breaking through old narrative constraints as he charts uncannily new and exciting territory. . . . No serious reader will want to miss Women and Men. . . . By such dreams the world might be saved." (Alicia Metcalf Miller, Cleveland Plain Dealer 4-5-87)
"Like other postmodern big booksThe Recognitions, Giles Goat-Boy, Gravity's RainbowWomen and Men embodies the American notion of manifest destiny, a continent-sized ambition to speak largely in a large land. . . . Brilliant and rigorously human, Women and Men offers a risky, brakeless drive at the far edge of what's possible in the novel." (Albert Mobilio, Voice Literary Supplement 5-5-87)
"Women and Men manages to achieve in its very relentless scope, in the convolutions of its long engulfing sentences and the hypnotic repetition of its thematic elements, a kind of poetry born of contemporary obsession and paranoia. It provides us with a satirical, omnibus overview of present-day life not seen since Gravity's Rainbow, with a like intertwining of jazzy speech and elaborate prose, myth and current history, folklore and technology, pop culture and metaphysics." (Laurence Donovan, Miami Herald 4-12-87)
"McElroy's ambition is heroic . . . his canvas densely peopled, the animating talent is unmistakable." (Publishers Weekly 1-9-87)
- Dalkey Archive Press
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.07(w) x 8.99(h) x 1.90(d)
Meet the Author
More from this Author
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >