REAL PROPERTY by Sara Davidson


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The Loose Change generation in search of real values. The first of these roving, loosely connected essays (most of them previously published) finds Davidson in Venice, Calif., land of roller skates, real estate, and the sexual come-on. Struck by the realization that ""I was thirty-five and I was still waiting, expecting I would soon wake up from all of this,"" she takes off for Israel--where real value is found in families and towns resemble ""baby-hatcheries."" Taking the cue from Israel, she then looks at two admittedly atypical families: the television Nelsons are a bust (Ozzie is dictatorial and David disaffected); but at the desert home of the polygamous Josephs, Davidson watches the interaction among ten, mostly teen-age and college-age wives and says she can ""see how the marriage works for these people, how each wife adds a new dimension to the family."" Then there's a contrast between author Joan Didion, with her orchids and fine silver and carefully chosen words, and the late Jacqueline (""I'm a today writer"") Susann. And then we hop to politics, first in 1971 Chile--where hope is still alive among Allende supporters--and next in Berkeley, where hope is running out. Also rung in are changing sex patterns--Davidson's complex relationship with her separated husband; an Israeli woman's one-word answer to the question, ""What do women want?"": ""sovereignty."" Davidson seems to agree. She might try telling that to the ten wives. She might also put her thoughts in order; fuzzy thinking is a fatal defect in a collection with no discernible unifying thread.

Pub Date: May 23rd, 1980
Publisher: Doubleday