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Bye-Bye Paperback – January 1, 1999

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Washington Square Press; First Edition edition (January 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671027085
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671027087
  • Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 0.7 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,998,551 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
excellent... nothing like it. If you like updike, vonnegut and martin amis this book will make you jump. Best book I've read in years. This is an excellent effort at the highest level of serious fiction. The story is great, the pace and language wonderful.
A definite plus to any collection.
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Format: Paperback
The act of reading this book is like witnessing a conflagration--it is a searing experience! But BYE-BYE is a work of amazing honesty and is also heartbreaking and sometimes very funny. Jane Ransom is a fine poet, and she proves in this volume that she is an equally fine and brave novelist. This is a book for readers interested in real literature, and I think that the other reviews on this site have missed the point.
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Format: Hardcover
Profound writing with poetic precision, and lyrical quality. These are some fragments I liked.

"But it was only after my mother ran off with the chairman of my fathers drama department that a force field up sprang up creating The House. It was precisely then that gravity increased ; the floor became hypermagnetized .From then on, objects fell and stuck to it -towels. books, dishes, newspapers, bottles cans, unopened mail, spoiled food...Most of our furniture also snapped, toppled , or sagged floorward.. For some weeks now, every day at 3.30 P.M. I lie face down on the kitchen floor, overwhelmed by the memory of my body growing heavier the moment I entered The House each day after my room , lock the door, and bulldoze through the piles of clothes, magazines, and hair curls to the bed, where I would lie still as a giant slug until evening."

" But back then, the only tidy place in The House was my brother's room. Within the first month after my mothers flight, he covered his walls with dozens of maps, all nearly Scotch taped or push-pinned in place, and dozens of clocks, all set to same correct time. On all the maps, my brother marked the location of "The House". Like me, he has always been ambitious : the maps varied in range from our township, to the United States, to the entire solar system. Sometimes my brother drew in The House as rectangle, with an isosceles triangle on top. Other times it was a red paper dot stuck on the planet Earth. On his desk , a chess game was perpetually in progress; my brother played both sides. He kept his room bathed in white light twenty four hours per day using ten or so lamps with bare light bulbs."

" My lover is a puzzle. My lover is an anesthetic.
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