WHO WAS THAT MASKED WOMAN? by Noretta Koertge

WHO WAS THAT MASKED WOMAN?

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KIRKUS REVIEW

If that title suggests visions of outlaw daring and Élan, forget it: ""masked"" here means generally hidden, and this first novel is actually just a right-down-the-middle fictionalization of one lesbian woman's rather tame life. Tretona Getroek (anagrams, anyone?) wonders, ""Can it really be that there were no happy moments in my first fifteen years? A rather careful scan of my most vivid memories reveals none."" Among those vivid memories: the horror of Tretona's midwestem Mom when she caught the little girl touching herself below the waist (Mom washed her vigorously); a stay at a revival camp, where Tretona found her first girlfriend/ lover Belinda. . . and her first older woman (Sister Clayton). After that come Tretona at a women's college, then at State U. (in chemistry, undergrad and grad); a brief heterosexual experiment with Robert from Trinidad; a never-again dabble into psychiatry (the shrink is determined to ""cure"" her); a job in Chicago (dreary gay bars), then a more exciting one teaching in Turkey. Occasionally Koertge tries to steam up this plodding year-by-year account, sliding into amateurishly verbose sex scenes: ""Their bodies formed an X, belly to belly, heads turned left reading the score in each other's eyes, right hands making music, bodies in unison measuring, pulsing, holding the beat together and steady until the finale. . . ."" But the telling is generally inoffensive here, the fife-history in question is more sedate (even boring) than scandalous, and readers who are intensely concerned with lesbian lifestyles may find this mildly interesting.

Pub Date: Aug. 18th, 1981
Publisher: St. Martin's