From Library Journal
Ransom won the 1996 New York University Press Prize for Fiction for this first novel about a young woman's sexual escapades and search for identity. No one in this novel has a name except for the narrator, Rosie, but even that is just a name she chooses when she decides to change her identity. The other characters are "My Lover," a woman she met after seeing her photographs in a porn magazine; the Bartender, a man who made her a drink at a performance art happening; and the Personal Ad, a bizarre woman she meets through the personals. The author is trying to challenge the reader about conceptions of identity but gets so caught up in trying to be cutting edge that she fails to make the narrator interesting or appealing. The saving grace is Ransom's gift for description and her keen observations. Recommended only where there is an interest in bisexual, literary erotica.?Editha Ann Wilberton, Kansas City P.L., Kan.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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From Kirkus Reviews
Often grim, sometimes droll debut (winner of the 1996 New York University Press Prize for Fiction) by poet Ransom. The bisexual narrator can't forget her ruthlessly intelligent mother, whom she helped die with a morphine overdose, and can't escape the ambiance of her ex-husband, who divorced her for infidelity. She also has a schizo brother who thinks he's God, and an alcoholic father she hasn't seen in 18 years. Her fallback is My Lover, a woman who photographs lesbians for the slicks. In a last- ditch attempt to escape her many entanglements and seize control of her life, the narrator changes her identity (becoming Rose Ann Waldin), dyes her hair red, gets a new Social Security number and driver's license, moves, lets no one know who or where she is, and lives off her inheritance. Her loathsome new apartment is decorated with grungy sub-Disney paintings by top serial-murderer John Wayne Gacy--who sold his works by mail before he was executed. New acquaintances or lovers include Personal Ad, an icy high-toned lesbian with a psychology degree (``How do you feel right now?'') whom ``Rose Ann'' meets through a personals ad, and The Bartender, a blithe male lover. Rosie is obsessed by a mysterious performance artist known only as Andorgenie, an androgyne who appears every few months with a new identity, male or female, then discards it. Who or what Andorgenie is, no one knows. Not much happens as Rosie agonizes and flits between lovers, though the admittedly fairly bizarre waiting time has amusing moments: ``While returning the waiter's stare, I had blinked, which My Lover probably mistook for a wink because my Maybelline Extra-Thick Marathon Mascara eyelashes momentarily stuck together.'' The climax: Rosie pulls off her own performance artistry as a bloodsoaked murderess. More flash than fun. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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