TOUCHING EVIL by Norma Rosen


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Touching Evil which encroaches on various other penultimates--violence, betrayal and survival, above all regenerative survival (with something of the hallelujah chorus of Joy to Levine -- 1962), is also a woman's book, though not every woman's book since it is overwhelmingly female. Necessarily since much of it concerns a childbirth, as shared vicariously by Jean Lamb who observes and records the experience of a young woman whom her lover, Loftus, has asked her to keep an eye on. The mother-to-be is Hattie who has a theory of slipping ""inside the lives of other people"" so that while she is gestating she is identifying, via television and the Eichmann trial, with Hitler's victims. Jean Lamb who is ""approaching the losing side of age,"" whose Fridays with a lover are no longer enough, and whose childlessness is an increasing scourge, is meantime slipping inside of Hattie's experience which ends with the total fusion of Labor Room / Concentration Camp ... All of this has a definitely tactile intimacy and it's entirely subjective whether you respond or recoil.

Pub Date: Aug. 27th, 1969
ISBN: 0814322980
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace & World