|About the Book|
The Woman Who Thought She Loved Men is a book of stories that deal with relationships. In the title story a woman and a man set out, in an exchange of letters, their particular and opposing views on how the two genders relate until they merge, at theMoreThe Woman Who Thought She Loved Men is a book of stories that deal with relationships. In the title story a woman and a man set out, in an exchange of letters, their particular and opposing views on how the two genders relate until they merge, at the end, into a mutual understanding. A search for understanding from the point of view of an outsider drives most of the stories- as in Time Goes Still as if Arrested in Its Passing where the only foreigners in the parish are attacked simply for being different and not speaking the language. And how that exclusion also creates tensions in the home and increases the father’s rages. Family violence is at the root, in some stories, of the daughter’s sexual appetite and search for love in men’s arms and her inability to form a stable partnership. There is throughout the book an attempt at understanding both victim and aggressor and the tendency to see that both roles are given rather than chosen, and because of this, inescapable. The father who was beaten beats the son. The mother who was loved by her parents cannot protect her son because she was taught the man is the head of the family and she fears anger. Mixed with the family’s dysfunctions are religious teachings from the nuns and priests and society’s roles assigned to both genders and the French environment that isolates the characters further. At the same time the farm, where they have moved from the city, is an environment of beauty and magic, a character in itself that counteracts the artificial unquestioned teachings and gives a joy of living to those who live there. The travel stories are further explorations of how a childhood of neglect contributes to the independence of the grown child, to the wanting to see and understand how the world works but always as an observer who enjoys contact but cannot tolerate it for long. Solitude has become the necessary home. The intention of these pieces of writing is not to judge or to allocate blame but rather to show a collective suffering of which all are part. Everything in the book is both illusion and reality which reflects the author’s point of view. The places and people mentioned do not exist or if they exist the descriptions have no resemblance to the originals. This is a work of fiction that takes place mostly in a shifting inner landscape that explores feeling states triggered by experiences in the outer world. A recurring theme is how we are shaped by unquestioned passed on teachings and whether free will exists.