This will be the first reissue of Taubes’ first and only novel, an important artifact of mid-century intellectual life and culture, as well as a revolutionary feminist text that has not received its due.
This introspective, slightly abstract autobiographical novel will appeal to fans of other feminist writers like Renata Adler and Susan Sontag.
Taubes held her own as a religious philosophy scholar but has been forgotten. We hope this reissue will help to restore her to a new reading public.
Introducer David Rieff, the son of Taubes’ friend Sontag, lives in the New York City area and will be available for interviews and events.
“Time and history, as experienced both personally and collectively, are just two of the big ideas this novel leaves a reader pondering,” —John Williams, The New York Times
“[T]his formally bold novel will gratify admirers of Taubes’ friend and contemporary Susan Sontag, Elizabeth’s Hardwick’s Sleepless Nights, and Margaret Atwood’s Cat’s Eye…. A wry and cerebral study of identity, marriage, sex, and the interleafing of personal, familial, and national history.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Hungarian American writer Taubes first published this brilliant fever dream of the life, loves, and travels of Sophie Blind shortly before her death in 1969…. The result parses how a thinking woman might have gone about divorcing herself from a society that defined her in ways over which she had no control. Taubes’s stylistically innovative book is essential reading for fans of Renata Adler.” —Publishers Weekly
“Divorcing heralded the rise of the lean, epigrammatic fiction of the mid-’70s, such as Renata Adler’s Speedboat and Elizabeth Hardwick’s Sleepless Night…. Sophie’s cosmopolitanism, her coolness, her sexual appetite, her exhaustion, her intellectualism and indifferent glamor would become recognizable literary capacities, appealing features of a modern protagonist…. Divorcing is the stuff of literary cults. It is vivid and inchoate, its surface slick from recent molting. It is fascinating and flawed, a gathering of antithetical forms, sheered edges, leaps of faith…Some works are merely reissued; this feels more like a resurrection.” —Dustin Illingworth, The Paris Review
“Divorcing is often very funny, always alive, bursting with ideas, full of formal vitality and change…. [T]his feels like a book both stuffed with fiction and nonfiction, memory and play.” —Scott Cheshire, The Washington Post
”Divorcing is a compendium of severance: not just a wife from her husband, but a family from their homeland, and a people from their God.” —Jess Bergman, Jewish Currents
"Divorcing, teems with stylistic daring, taunts with irreverence, and glints with genius…an astonishing work of art, decades ahead of its time, whose formal innovations and insistent excavation of the unspoken corners of female consciousness we now take for granted as de rigueur…. Taubes constructs the novel as though piecing together a kaleidoscope of experiences from broken shards of glass. The results are uneven but riveting, ultimately concerned with the question of where writing alone—and the novel form in particular—can take us.” —Jennifer Schaffer, The Nation
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