THE NEW MOON WITH THE OLD MOON IN HER ARMS by Ursule Molinaro

THE NEW MOON WITH THE OLD MOON IN HER ARMS

Age Range: 0 - 7043
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

 An original myth-laden novella, set in ancient Athens, about a woman who offers herself as a public sacrifice in order to revive a moon goddess cult. In a learned, readable style, Molinaro (A Full Moon of Women, 1990, etc.) makes up a feminist fiction that, while occasionally cluttered or pedantic, is finally human and moving. The narrator--a 30-year-old unmarried poet--is kept sumptuously at public expense for a year before the ritual (or ``Thargelia'') in which she and a man, a surrogate bride and groom, will be chased through the streets and stoned to death on Expulsion Day. But unlike past victims, who were destitute before the year of public care preceding their deaths, our narrator is affluent from the get-go. At first, she romanticizes her decision, remembering how, as a baby, she was given ``a pebble to throw.'' Now, she is determined to ``throw out the steadily growing discrimination against my sex.'' In the course of the story, she becomes involved with a sponge-diver and his daughter and otherwise reflects, in excerpts from her diary, about myriad things. Likewise, Molinaro, in her own academic voice, pads the story with lit-chit, feminist theory, arcane scholarship, and even commentary about sponge- diving. The result is a historical fiction, written in a postmodernist fragmented style (which mostly works), about a woman who's full of ``causes that concerned me only as fillers for my audienceless, loveless life'' and who comes finally to a tragic maturity. (The British edition hardcover is also available at $22.00: ISBN: 0- 7043-5057-2)

Pub Date: July 2nd, 1993
ISBN: 0-929701-29-1
Page count: 128pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1993