Saturday, July 8, 2017

Victoria Redel

Victoria Redel's new novel is Before Everything.

From her Guernica interview with Annie DeWitt:

Guernica: This book dismisses the cliché of women as necessary enemies fighting for the male gaze. In fact, their friendships, rather than their marriages, or even their children, seem to fuel them. I wondered if you might talk about how you claimed that power?

Victoria Redel: It wasn’t a power that needed to be claimed. It’s truly how I feel. I don’t buy any image of women as enemies or inevitably bitchy. Are women angry or ambitious? Yes, sometimes—and why shouldn’t they be? Maybe men believe our primary focus is the male gaze, but what woman in the midst of her life would agree? It is part of an oversimplified portrayal of women that has nothing to do with women’s actual lives. The women in Before Everything have been one another’s close confidantes over many years. They bear one another’s contradictions, they speak up to one another, and they show up for each other. I don’t think this is exceptional, and not only among intimate friends. Hasn’t every woman had the experience of walking into a public bathroom—let’s say at highway rest stop—and some woman washing her hands next to you says the most personal revealing statement? Maybe she looks up and catches your eye in the mirror, says, “Whoa, when did I start looking like my mother?” Or she might say, “I might have to kill my husband and my kids before this road trip is over.” And you nod and laugh, “I know. I know.” You say, “I’ve already killed mine three times this summer.” And then...[read on]
Visit Victoria Redel's website.

The Page 69 Test: Before Everything.

--Marshal Zeringue