I disagree with Chance’s view of this story.
Gaitskill does seem to be pitting normal and abnormal against each other, but does not do it in a subtle or hinting kind of way. We are given an array of situations here. The narrators mother has been abused in the past and is continually abused psychologically by boyfriends. His wife has a history of being a sort of peer-pressure co-abuser. The society around him continually shows women in a violently victimized light. His childhood friends joke about what bitches women are (though he suspects that they don’t mean it).
The narrator is kind of a distillation of all these things. He has seriously fantasized about hurting women, but given the opportunity, doesn’t. On the surface, he’s the good guy that takes his kid fishing. He’s not the ski-masked rapist, he’s the nice guy you might have coffee with.
Day 45: Memory Boxes by Pam L. Wallace « 365 Days of Women Writers.
Daily Science Fiction.
Hmm. Giving up memory for another. Not sure whether these memories are used up when the box is opened. If so, what is the point of having them at all? A closed box, or memory released?
Lots of different trees in their home orchard.
Also, why is this in Daily Science Fiction?
Day 51: The Popinjay’s Daughter by Anne Cross « 365 Days of Women Writers.
Beneath Ceaseless Skies : : The Popinjay’s Daughter, by Anne Cross (Issue #55, Nov. 4, 2010).
First person POV.
Trapped by change. Interesting concept.
Was totally thrown off by the narrator being male. Would I have assumed male if the author was male? What would I have assumed if I didn’t know the gender of the author?
“the boy who was locked up”
The only boy to be locked up?
The comment about change between pregnant and mother. Doesn’t strike me as a male thought.
Is a male protag needed? Is the taking on of a daughter more poignant because he’s male?
Chance brings up the “you can do whatever you want to women if you are powerful” trope. I suppose that’s a trope for me to watch out for.