Weird Fucks by Lynne Tillman
In Weird Fucks you are on the road with a nameless narrator as she couples and uncouples in various countries in the sixties and seventies. It’s an uncomfortable grand tour though, as the sexual encounters are mainly the kind selfishly manipulated by the sort of men the sixties gave sexual license to. Whether the unknowable narrator cares about this seems to be irrelevant when she always has an escape route ready, even when “an island of Henry Millers” seems to be noting her every move. A better experience may beckon down the road, in the next city, or in the next country. The narrator as sexual exile travelling unconsciously to a new self, and quite right too, as the men don’t change - the novella’s last line, “He had attenuated the one-night stand into something harder to get over. For a while I was meaner in the clinches. There are some things I just won’t forgive”. Won’t get fooled again? In an interview in 1991 Lynne Tillman was asked about Weird Fucks, which had been published several years earlier, and said, “I wanted to take on writers like Jack Kerouac whose road was never a female one. I felt that I was writing about how we write about sex. ‘Weird Fucks’ is definitely as much about narrative style as it is about sexual content”. Take him on she does. On the road, across the world, the mental and literary journey being of more import than the freedoms promised for a certain kind of man. Weird Fucks is a great book. A fine revised edition from Peninsula Press.