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Jong reprises heroine Isadora Wing (Fear of Flying How to Save Your Own Life, Parachutes and Kisses) in this graphic but curiously unerotic tale of an artist obsessed with a young lover. Shades of Earhart. When last seen, famous writer Isadora Wing is piloting a single-engined plane over the South Pacific. Since she's missing and presumed dead, a scholarly feminist edits and publishes her last novel, Any Woman's Blues. It's the story of celebrated artist Leila Sand, a woman ""in the grip of an obsession"" with hunky Dart Donegal, 14 years her junior. ""Let me tell you about his cock,"" says Leila--and, yes, does she ever. When she's not slavishly worshipping Dart's ""demonic prong"" she gets her kicks out of letting him beat her with a riding crop. Leila has other problems as well, mainly the fact that she's an alcoholic. She joins AA and persuades Dart to do so too--but sobriety literally unmans him, and he jumps off the wagon and into the arms of a pretty blonde. Devastated, Leila has an affair with Danny Doland, a rich Texas tycoon who can manage things only while watching dirty videos; then it's off to New York's downtown scene, where she watches far-out performance art and becomes a disciple of dominatrix Madame Ada. But she soon becomes tired of vengefully whipping men and ends up in Italy, having a soothing affair with a handsome architect. In an Afterword, Isadora Wing appears--not, sadly, dead--and explains the meaning of the novel: ""We go on revealing our hearts in the hope that they may never stop beating."" Clumsy, pretentious, humorless, predictable.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1989
Publisher: Harper & Row