susAN FAL’U'DI The Terror Dream i' '. ...

Susan Faludi has gained a fearsome reputation for her analysis of gender politics. the state of America and political horseplay. And after making her name with Backlash and Stiffed. she has now chucked all three into one discursive melting pot to attack the mores and attitudes of patriarchal USA in the wake of 9/11. For Faludi, not only was that fateful day an assault on the freedoms which ordinary Americans took for granted within their own borders and on their own streets, it signalled a rush to condemn feminism and the feminisation of maledom in western society.

The central metaphor of the Twin Towers (representing phallic machismo) had been replaced with a gaping void (the vaginal presence of Ground Zero) and it was all those pesky women‘s libbers fault for making men less manly and leaving the country exposed to such brutal violations. It seems the kind of absurd knee-jerk reaction which should be destroyed in a single broadsheet editorial, but Faludi takes 300 pages to rip it apart while drawing parallels between US history (Salem, McCarthyism, the two Bushes) and the modern demonisation of women as victims who needed saving by male rescuers.

The events of 9/11 seemed to distil centuries of hostility towards womanhood and brought about a clarion call for a return to the Wild West ethics of the John Wayne brand of Americana. While Faludi has reams of evidence to show just how much America began to find justification for hating women, the acres of misogynistic anecdotes eventually swamp the reader and muddy the waters of her central thrust. (Brian Donaldson)


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5 CRIME NOVELS Colin Batoman Ghost Town A bestselling writer ViSits the scene of his Wife's murder ten years preViOLisly tO get some ideas for his latest novel. but turns up more than he bargained for. Headline. Mo Haydor Ritual DI Jack Cattery is back With a nasty case of sacrifiCiaI tenure as human hands start being fished out of the water. Bantam Press. Frances Fyflold Blood from Stone A hotshot female barrister kills herself shonly after a controversial case in which a prime Witness died. What's all this then? Sphere. Nicola Upton An Expert in Murder The first of a new series set in London's theatreland during the 19303 features a Crime writer as its central character. Faber. Reginald "III A Cure for All Diseases Dalziel and Pascoe make their return with the former recovering from a terrorist attack but finding himself thrust swiftly into the middle of yet another rime puzzle. HarperCoI/iris.

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"1—27 'xfa' 2008 THE LIST 33