THE OTHER WOMAN I AM by Geneyieve Gennarl


Email this review


Again, in translation, by Linda Asher, this is an example of the internalized Roman to which the French bring a special affinity and expertise. More approachable, less experimental than Sarraute, Butor, etc. -- this again deals with ephemeral emotions but in more explicit and unequivocal terms. And certainly the situation here, as Sylvastre finds herself widowed, faces the first, floundering year of being alone, and shares the ""slow motion life"" of the unattached woman, has a common ground of experience. Alone with her retrospective thoughts, she looks back on a marriage in which there was little love- only a ""tacit and irreplaceable habit"", and the resentment of the dead man who did not share and minimized her liberal convictions (""the other woman I am""). And while also resenting her submissive status, and admiring her friend Irina who has managed to be ""free"", she looks about and finds the whole sisterhood of women alone distasteful. A chance meeting with an old suitor stirs a physical desire he avoids; her rather emasculated escort, Martin, becomes more insistent and offers her a marriage which presents the same incompatibilities, and finally she makes her choice- to go to South America to work-give up her privileged position as a ""well fed western woman"" and dedicate herself to a greater cause... Mme. Gennari handles her self-portrait with great honesty and lucidity- and publisher support may help to extend its appeal which is still somewhat foreign in flavor- say in comparison with The M Age of Mrs. .

Publisher: McKay