Victorine

Victorine

By Maude Hutchins; Terry Castle (Introduction by)

New York Review of Books, Paperback, 9781590172704, 191pp.

Publication Date: August 19, 2008

Description
Victorine is thirteen, and she can't get the unwanted surprise of her newly sexual body, in all its polymorphous and perverse insistence, out of her mind: it is a trap lying in wait for her at every turn (and nowhere, for some reason, more than in church). Meanwhile, Victorine's older brother Costello is struggling to hold his own against the overbearing, mean-spirited, utterly ghastly Hector L'Hommedieu, a paterfamilias who collects and discards mistresses with scheming abandon even as Allison, his wife, drifts through life in a narcotic daze.
And Maude Hutchins's "Victorine"? It's a sly, shocking, one-of-a-kind novel that explores sex and society with wayward and unabashedly weird inspiration, a drive-by snapshot of the great abject American family in its suburban haunts by a literary maverick whose work looks forward to--and sometimes outstrips--David Lynch's "Blue Velvet "and the contemporary paintings of Lisa Yuskavage and John Currin.


About the Author


Terry Castle was once described by Susan Sontag as "the most expressive, most enlightening literary critic at large today." She is the author of seven books of criticism, including The Apparitional Lesbian: Female Homosexuality and Modern Culture (1993) and Boss Ladies, Watch Out! Essays on Women and Sex (2002). Her anthology, The Literature of Lesbianism, won the Lambda Literary Editor's Choice Award in 2003. She lives in San Francisco and is Walter A. Haas Professor in the Humanities at Stanford University.


Praise For Victorine

"If a Colette were possible in this country, that is presumably what Maude Hutchins would like to be. The sensuous is her window on the world; sexuality is the sea for all her voyages..." -New York Times

"Maude Hutchins writes like a lascivious I. Compton-Burnett." —Time

"The novels of Hutchins [are] witty and intelligent." -Studies in the 20th Century

"Victorine..established her reputation as a richly ironical imagist." -Time

"Maude Hutchins has a forcefully genuine talent...Like Iris Murdoch, she is among the most imaginatively creative women writing in English." -Terry Southern, New York Times