CBR14Bingo – Star
The star here is in reference to our narrator’s work as a manager for a contemporary rock and roll singer, the ways in which this relationship shapes the narrative, and the discussion is elicits.
Gayl Jones tips her hand late in this book when one character calls our narrative a “picara”/. In doing so, we learn what we need to know about our narrator and what to do with the Quixotic and episodic novel. If you’ve read Gayl Jones’s first two novels — Corregidora and Eva’s Man — both of which were published in the 1970s and share some similarities (and are often published together), I think this one might be a bit of a surprise. Written kind of in the style of like a The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, in the sense of a fictional biography of someone who lived a fantastical life, this novel begins on a bus where our narrator, Harlan Jane Eagleton, begins to explain her life as a healer, whose job it is…to heal.
We learn of course that this is not a straightforward job and it avers a straightforward explanation. What we get instead is the story of her life which includes her shared life with a Black German horse trainer, an anthropologist who travels to and works in various parts of Africa, and in her role as the road manager to an emerging Black rock singer.
The novel is rich and layered and is told through a distinctive and often hilarious voice.