ISLAND OF WOMEN by Juan Goytisolo


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The female narrator of Goytisolo's novel, Claudia, returns to Malaga for an eleven day vacation to visit her husband, some old friends, and perhaps find out what it is that has plunged her into a state of worsening despair. She runs around the island with a bizarre group of debauchees and they all play the modern, absurd games: id est, homosexuality, lesbianism, playful sodomy, adultery, alcoholism. She recalls the days -- before the war -- when she and her husband Rafael were naive enough to believe that the world could be changed. Rafael had been a brilliant journalist and she an energetic idealist, doing good deeds in her Falange uniform. The moral erosion began because ""the war had changed nothing"". Both of them now are sexually impotent, he drinks to excess, she runs around with men and women. But they've agreed not to have to ""account to each other"". After the eleven day jaunt, Claudia realizes that nothing at all has changed, that her moral gangrene is progressing normally. In short, nothing very new. Asexual, absurd, destitute people chronicled by rather mediocre writing. Translated from the Spanish by Jose Yglesias.

Pub Date: March 19th, 1961
Publisher: Knopf