RUNAWAY WIVES by Anna Sklar

RUNAWAY WIVES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Sklar's peripatetic rap group of women who've slammed the door on husbands and sometimes kids congregates mainly in Southern California, and, after an ode to this land of hip lifestyles, you will meet the women who resemble Nora more than Medusa. Laura, on her own for twelve years: ""on the whole I cannot get into hating men""; Cathy, who worries about her ability to support herself: ""I'm really not a marketable commodity""; Maggie, a lesbian who thinks that the women's movement must become more political: ""We believe there is a concerted effort by the state to force women back into the family."" They move in a mainly feminist orbit through women's centers, communes, a feminist coffee house, and they provide forceful testimony to their stunted growth as wives. As Sklar herself puts it, she walked out because ""I had grown tired of being less than he wanted and nothing of what I wanted."" She conveys the improvised, moment-by-moment quality of their lives, their determination to act out their fantasies. Sklar is a passionate partisan and she sometimes becomes stridently rhetorical. She also makes the runaway wife sound like a national epidemic. Still, the women, when they're not spaced out, are candid, articulate and adamant about their struggles and their newfound freedom.

Pub Date: Jan. 29th, 1975
Publisher: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan