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Submitted Literature

Bogeywoman

By Jaimy Gordon

Review

Novel exploring adolescence and institutionalization, alongside notions of fantasy and transference in the therapeutic process. Notable for the curious use of language and adolescent dialogue.  

Key Themes:

  • Childhood / Adolescence
  • Obsessions
  • Revealing Reads
  • Self-Injury

Significant Quotes / Pages

49 - “([…]She’d probably never even heard of Sigmund Food - none of that sticky stuff for her)  I saw my chance.  “I ate a funny-looking mushroom,” I blurted, exploding my chance to atoms by overdoing it - no tracker would ever eat a funny-looking mushroom. “I fell on it with my mouth open,” I tacked on lamely.  “My god she tried to kill herself,” Willis hollered, “we have to get her to Nurse’s Bung right away.”  Since I was quiet now, Ottie rolled off me to help me get to my feet - and I forked up his jackknife out of the tuft of iron grass where it had fallen, and slashing the air with it, so he backed off, and making, I seem to recall, some kinda wordless noise - howling, bawling, sumpm along those lines - I ran off into the woods.

It meant exile - and how now I hastened to forget what I knew, which wasn’t much, of Wood Wiz Lost-Finding, and I was lost in the woods.  I hadn’t stolen Ottie’s knife as essential tool number 3 of emergency wood wizardry, although it was.  I had no intention of cutting willow rod stanchions or leafy roofing for a lean-to.  No, it was myself I intended to cut - not kill, mind you, only cut - which brings me to the questions of

WHY THE BOGEYWOMAN LETS HER OWN BLOOD”

111-112 -  “Was it my job to live or to off myself? When I no longer knew my job, I became a mental patient with my menu if behaviors, for example I had purloined the Wilkinson blade from Dion’s razor this morning and graphed the logical debate I was having with the mysterious Madame Zuk, in her absence, over whether I should live or die, on the inside of both arms.  They were now stuck solid to the lint inside my sweatshirt.  Nobody had noticed anything yet”

Reference: Jaimy, Gordon. 1999. Bogeywoman. Los Angeles: Sun and Moon Press, 1999

Reviewer

- Charley Baker
Date Review Submitted: Friday 20th March 2009