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In Transit by Brigid Brophy

In Transit

by Brigid Brophy

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This bizarre novel is a work of modern fiction set in an airport, and like the architecture of airports it is very modern but dated in the way that modern things from the 50's, 60's & 70's seem to age rather quickly. The narrator is "in transit" - between flights - at the airport having decided to skip the ongoing flight and reflecting on the narrator's past life and the undefined status of being in transit. Suddenly, the narrator cannot remember his/her sex and rather comically tries to figure that out. More odd events transpire eventually leading to a rebellion against the airport. The book is full of wordplay, especially puns, and satire of the modern world. It's the best book with a gender-ambiguous narrator that I've read since Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson.

Favorite Passages:

"Have you noticed how little of the twentieth-century life is in fact conducted in twentieth-century surroundings? There are precious few places where you can glance unhibitedly round you and be sure of never placing eyes on an artifact that's an anachronism. Indeed our century hasn't yet invented a style -- only a repertory of cliche motifs which aren't in fact functional, since they can be stuck on anywhere, but which imitate the machine-turned and stream-lined and thereby serve the emotional purpose of signaling that our century prefers function to style." - p. 22 ( )
  Othemts | Dec 29, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0854491007, Paperback)

Set in an airport ("one of the rare places where twentieth-century design is happy with its own style"), In Transit is a textual labyrinth centering on a contemporary traveller. Waiting for a flight, Evelyn Hillary O'Rooley suffers from uncertainty about his/her gender, provoking him/her to perform a series of unsuccessful, yet hilarious, philosophical and anatomical tests. Brigid Brophy surrounds the kernel of this plot with an unrelenting stream of puns, word games, metafictional moments and surreal situations (like a lesbian revolution in the baggage claim area) that challenge the reader's preconceptions about life and fiction and that remain endlessly entertaining.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:35 -0400)

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