Notable American Women is an enchanting and moving novel. Like Italo Calvino and Lewis Carrol, Ben Marcus reconfigures the world that we might see ourselves in a cultural and moral landscape that is disturbingly familiar, yet entirely new. As though granted a new beginning, Marcus renames the creatures of our world, questions who we are and who, as men and women, we might be. Notable American Women is a wonder book, pleasurable and provocative.
By the 1970s, the American woman was being called 'liberated' or 'superwoman' while the American man was being called 'baby killer' if he fought in Vietnam, 'traitor' if he protested, or 'apathetic' if he did neither. Even men who came home paraplegics were literally spit on.
The American man is a very simple and cheap mechanism. The American woman I find a complicated and expensive one. Contrasts of feminine types are possible. I am not absolutely sure that there is more than one American man.
Why can't these American women stay in their own country? They are always telling us that it is the paradise for women. It is. That is the reason why, like Eve, they are so excessively anxious to get out of it.