I AM THE BEAUTIFUL STRANGER by Rosalyn Drexler

I AM THE BEAUTIFUL STRANGER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

There hasn't been a female voice to equal Holden Caufield's in Catcher in the Rye and this book doesn't come close to providing one. But it is that kind of experience -- a difficult, intelligent teenage girl confiding her brutalization into adulthood, inflicted by parents, home, school and friends from her 13th year forward. The narrative device is Selma's secret journal which she keeps with unlikely regularity and candor over the next few years. Her increasing alienation is evident and reported in terms that would have made Holden blush. The problem is the lack of wide reader identification -- her milieu, lower class Jewry in upper Manhattan, and a series of sexual encounters that range from fantasy to commercial, perverse vulgarity. The journal voice becomes increasingly hard and bitter as Selma reaches the word-milling of hysteria. It ends with pat abruptness as Selma finds her mirror image in a mixed up young man and moves in with him. Bright, inventive, but undisciplined writing.

Pub Date: April 24th, 1965
Publisher: Grossman