THE PRINCESS OF 72ND STREET by Elaine Kraf

THE PRINCESS OF 72ND STREET

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Kraf's tales of crazy-sane, victimized, free-associating ladies continue apace, but thankfully, unlike her last, the nearly unreadable Find Him! (I 977), this novel gives us the real person along with the fractured mind-tripping alter ego. Yes, half this novel belongs to the voice of ""Princess Esmeralda,"" who is periodically flipped-out (she calls her psychotic episodes ""radiances"") while tripping the light fantastic along W. 72nd Street; and these Esmeralda burbles are baubles of self-indulgence. But we also hear from Esmeralda's saner self--Ellen, a West Side woman constantly being dumped on by men who are losers--and Ellen's narrative has a certain tough journalistic snap to it. Her lovers include a fat, rose-growing urologist, a slob academic, a finicky lawyer, and an asexual painter (this one she once even married). But none can hold a candle to the magical Auriel, who keeps doves and is as spacey as she is (he shows up mostly during radiances). Kraf has essentially been doing this same cloven-personality game in all her novels; the only thematic variation here is a certain avenging-angel tone. (Ellen believes, for instance, that all married men who look at other women should have their eyes put out.) Familiar work from a single-grooved experimenter, but somewhat more palatable this time around.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1979
ISBN: 1564782352
Publisher: New Directions