Interviewing Matisse or the Woman Who Died Standin

Lily Tuck, Author, Gordon Lish, Editor Alfred A. Knopf $18 (148p) ISBN 978-0-394-58935-0
Molly, a garrulous Southerner transplanted to Connecticut, phones Lily in New York to report the bizarre death of their mutual friend, Inez, whose corpse had been found standing in her room, wearing only lingerie and boots. So begins a midnight-to-dawn conversation dominated by Molly, whose rambling, digressive logorrhea may try the patience of readers of this comic first novel. Molly, whose husband is French, reminisces about her absurdist escapades in France; there, she had photocopied clothes, lived with a count in an abandoned razor-blade factory and swum in her underwear in Matisse's swimming pool. As a screed on the sheer meaninglessness and irrationality of our frantic, flattened lives, the women's chatter hits as many false notes as true. Author Tuck, born in France and living in New York, wickedly satirizes worship of fame and celebrity, spirituality seekers eager for a quick fix, dentists, Americans' glorification of French culture and the French people's glorification of themselves. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1991
Release date: 03/01/1991
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