Thursday, May 24, 2007

My First Review Copy

About six weeks ago I returned home from a long day of thesis work to find Stacey Richter's Twin Study in my mailbox. It was my very first review copy, and its receipt made me feel like I am a real publisher, a feeling I don't have often due to the surreality of printing work on the web. You can look for a review of Twin Study in a future issue of Fringe.

I am only four stories into the collection, and savoring every quirky phrase. But one phrase gave me pause, and it wasn't Richter's. Time's blurb on the back reads:

"Richter brings a wacky imagination to the gender of the more outlandishly imaginative minds in contemporary fiction."

Gender wars? It seems to me that Richter is capturing a certain reality of the world women live in, and I think that "gender wars" belittles her theme. It reminds me of one of the Guerilla Girls' action posters, Advantages of Being a Woman Artist, "Being reassured that whatever art you make it will be labeled feminine." But perhaps I'm being unfair. I'm sure Time has commended Cormac McCarthy and John Updike for contributing to the gender wars as well.

So far this is an excellent book, and those who haven't checked out Richter's website, where she hilariously fields questions from the peanuts, are missing out.

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