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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Lunch Date Redux: Playing

posted by on April 8 at 14:55 PM

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Last week, I reviewed the beginning of a novel called Playing, which is a debut novel by the wife of Vikram Chandra about a woman embarking on her first S&M relationship. Though I finished the book a couple days ago, it just occurred to me that I never actually wrote about how it was, in the end.

I said last week that “I think Iím going to regret (reading Playing) in the morning.” Boy, did I ever. The late nineties/early aughts were heavy with novels starring wealthy young white women who fled from loving relationships because they couldn’t deal with them. Frequently, the wealthy young white women would flee to their parents and resume a second childhood. Sometimes, they would go somewhere that wealthy young white women don’t ordinarily go (e.g. Africa).

Usually, at the end of these novels, the women would have an epiphany that they love the man they fled from and that the man loved them, and so they return triumphantly to the arms of the man, who is waiting for the woman like a spineless wretch. The most popular of these novels was Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, whose main character fled her fiancee because she suddenly realized that he would die one day, but many of the early Oprah books followed this plot, also. Playing is one of these novels. It is Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood in handcuffs, being beaten with a riding crop. Sadly, if that last sentence was put on the cover in a blurb, it would probably sell really well.

RSS icon Comments

1

Rope is so much better than handcuffs.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | April 8, 2008 3:05 PM
2

Csn: Dissin ya-yas not right -- that one's not even above the love thang with the fiancee it's about dysfunct. mommy in the deep south steeped in lots of cocktails and fast caddys.....goes well with Cat on a, Blanche DuB., Faulkner, Dunces, or maybe even Love Inda Ruins but is nothing like the wealthy middle aged white woman in flight to Africa or Tuscany or Umbria genre.

Posted by Yat | April 8, 2008 3:12 PM
3

Even if you don't like her book, you could at least have included her name, rather than just identifying as someone's wife... Things like that will drive a woman to believe that her cliched search for herself has to end back in the arms of the man who, alone, can provide her with identity.

Posted by a | April 8, 2008 4:56 PM
4

@3: Probably his point.

Posted by Gloria | April 8, 2008 5:16 PM
5

neighborhood names. where I spent chunk for the personalities. I don't know the boys

Posted by bagapple | April 9, 2008 3:51 AM
6

That's funny...I spent the '90s and pre-9/11 '00s dating a lot of women who would come on all strong, spend a month or two being all lovey-dovey, and then flee. I thought it was me (and of course, it probably was) but maybe there was something in the air back then.

Posted by Matthew | April 9, 2008 9:18 AM
7

Frequently, the wealthy young white women would flee to their parents and resume a second childhood. Sometimes, they would go somewhere that wealthy young white women donít ordinarily go (e.g. Africa).

Um. "The Sheltering Sky" Paul Bowes 1949.

Posted by Tlazolteotl | April 9, 2008 9:49 AM

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