Review from a Transgressive Fiction Fan
A wild, intense assault of images. Visceral and raw. Thoroughly female and savage, in the best sense. I can’t help but go back to it from time to time. Certain passages still thread through my mind with such power. “I am constantly reconstructing a pattern of something forever lost and which I cannot forget.” “She was spreading herself like the night over the universe and found no god to lie with.” I feel a deep, creative kinship with Nin for her common love and use of certain symbols: trees, eggs, blood, birds, etc. But most of all, we share a propensity to relate life experiences to the physical nature and processes of woman’s body: pregnancy, birth, labor, cycles, nursing, motherhood, purpose in natural pain, etc. Oh, my dear, undone poetess. Be forewarned, Nin is not for the faint at heart. But if you have a taste for NIN and Tori Amos from time to time, this is prose you can sink your teeth into.
“Insightful” Review from a Mainstream Reader
This might have been worthwhile reading when it was written in 1958, when merely writing the word “orgasm” was a revolutionary act, but now it reads like a dictionary thrown into a garbage disposal. It reads like the excreta of a lesbian creative writing class that ate a thesaurus. The number of similes in the first five pages alone was enough to make me nauseous. It hits every pretentious, asinine cliche a writer could possibly put to paper: Christ, Joan of Arc, the “house” of one’s inner self, and so on ad infinitum. This book sucks. Don’t read it.