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“I played with them, I fought with them, I shared their locker rooms”
June 17, 2014 11:38 AM   Subscribe

Holt, Reinhart, and Winston published Amazons: An Intimate Memoir by the First Woman Ever to Play in the National Hockey League in the fall of 1980 ... In over-the-top comically implausible prose, [Cleo] Birdwell, a twenty-three-year-old from Badger, Ohio, narrates her inaugural season with the New York Rangers. She has a Midwestern practicality and straight-forwardness, a sly humor, and an unusually subversive sexual candor and agency, chronicling—sans any standard female shame or hesitancy—her plentiful sexual liaisons with a gamut of neurotic men. The dialogue is masterful and playful and the humor unremitting. Yet beneath Birdwell’s narration, a foreboding lurks—a tinge of sadness and an existential-like searching-ness. That’s because Cleo Birdwell is a pseudonym for Don Delillo.
posted by chavenet (17 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Well, DeLillo and Sue Buck, that is. Unsigned, unfortunately, and looking a bit like it's just come off the ice, but I paid a buck for my first of Amazons. One of my best thrift scores ever.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:52 AM on June 17


So Don Delillo had plentiful sexual liaisons with a gamut of neurotic men?
posted by clockzero at 12:07 PM on June 17


There's a reason that DeLillo hasn't put this book back into print, and that's because, honestly, it's embarrassing & misogynist. It's hard to get around that.
posted by with hidden noise at 12:08 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


sans any standard female shame or hesitancy

couldn't read any further

eyes rolled too far back in my head, ow, ow, ow

/played baseball and street (American) football as a kid, grew up to be a manager in a fast-paced business environment at La Défense in Paris, fuck shame and fuck hesitancy and fuck anyone who says it's "standard female" that is bull.shit.
posted by fraula at 12:10 PM on June 17 [8 favorites]


"The Fanny of sports novels!" (Book jacket)

As a UK person this is hilariously ironic...
posted by billiebee at 12:16 PM on June 17 [6 favorites]


There's a reason that DeLillo hasn't put this book back into print, and that's because, honestly, it's embarrassing & misogynist. It's hard to get around that.

I remember seeing a copy of this kicking around and it did have that gross, post-sexual-revolution funny-funny misogynist tone...hard to describe, but certainly puts one right off. This whole business of "I am going to write a woman character who is really, really sexual and supposedly "authentically" so...and yet her sexuality will be almost entirely designed to titillate, flatter and amuse straight dudes, and won't resemble any sexuality known to actual woman" business, mainly. Not what I usually associate with DeLillo, even when he's in irritating post-sixties-funny mode.
posted by Frowner at 12:18 PM on June 17 [3 favorites]


Frowner, I believe that's known as the Tom Robbins Maneuver.
posted by Daily Alice at 12:32 PM on June 17 [19 favorites]


Can we talk about Manon Rhéaume in here? Because she is legitimately awesome.
posted by 256 at 12:51 PM on June 17 [5 favorites]


Did he do it for the money? [serious question /]
posted by lodurr at 1:07 PM on June 17


Or did he do it for the nookie?
posted by Redfield at 1:35 PM on June 17


and would that actually work?

hopefully that wasn't an in-joke I just totally booted. I don't know delillo.
posted by lodurr at 1:38 PM on June 17


sans any standard female shame or hesitancy

I must know some really nonstandard women because I can't think of a single woman in my circle who feels anything but ownership of her sexuality, not shame or hesitation. Uuuuugggh. The women I know have clear ideas of what they do and do not want, and are not hesitant in the slightest to go after it.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:40 PM on June 17


That's more than I can say of most of the people I know, regardless of gender or sex.
posted by lodurr at 1:44 PM on June 17 [4 favorites]


Uh, and?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:50 PM on June 17


Meaning most of the people I know don't have that kind of clear idea of things.
posted by lodurr at 1:57 PM on June 17 [2 favorites]


I'm going to have to second that. I know many people--myself included--who experience a nonzero amount of shame and hesitation and uncertainty about sex and sexuality (and gender and gender relations and power roles and expectations and parenthood and step-parenthood and adolescent sex education and so on).
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 3:17 PM on June 17


> Can we talk about Manon Rhéaume in here? Because she is legitimately awesome.

I've met her a couple times and done some work for her and yeah. She's legit. And awesome.
posted by ardgedee at 4:59 PM on June 17


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