RE: RARA-AVIS: Re: Women Rewriting

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 27 May 2000

Okay, sidestepping the whole argument of male vs. female POV, this debate got me thinking of something else.

There is a whole literature of down-and-out. Goodis, for instance, would fit into this, heroes who have fallen, get a glimpse of their old life and may, during the course of the book, fall even further. The best they can hope for is to end up in the same place. Street of No Return is probably the best example of this, where the hero returns on the last page to exactly the same spot he occupied on the first.

Criminal and junkie fiction and fact would also fit here, notes from underground -- Bunker, Iceberg Slim, some Gold Medals, Goines, Burroughs, etc. But I can only think of male authors. Statistics say that female criminality has been increasing, but have women written in this vein? For instance, has the junkie's tale been written by a woman? There are tons of pimp books, but are there any from the perspective of the whore? I can't think of any. I'd like to read them, see the story from the other side. Somehow, I doubt the pimp would be quite so glorious.


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