It's easy to understand why this challenging postmodernist collage, first published in 1983 by a prizewinning Chilean writer (Sacred Cow, 1995, etc.), is only now reaching us in English translation. In an enigmatic gathering of hundreds of short scenes and discursive passages, Eltit evokes the image of an eponymous woman whose forthright appearance in a dark city street during a strictly enforced curfew embodies both the human resistance to political repression and a feisty artistic response to efforts to darken (i.e., silence) free speech. Numerous verbal repetitions, puns (ingeniously rendered in English), and syntactical derangements seem designed to impose an insubordinate ""meaning"" onto the officially approved blackness that is, transparently, the Pinochet regime's crackdown on individual liberties. This first novel's sophisticated imagery and distinctive construction make it a rarefied, and quite frequently very compelling, intellectual adventure that demands, and will doubtless reward, several re-readings.