To the editor:
Concerning Michael Solot’s book review that appeared in the April 15 issue, can he possibly be serious when he says that “the insights in a book like The Fermata . . . are really quite feminine,” that what Baker’s books have in common “. . . is that their gaze is directed inside to feelings, memories, and anxieties–not outward in the masculine way,” and that “Women, perhaps, might be able to understand the kind of longing behind it”–i.e., Strine’s desire to kiss Joyce after feeling her mattress pad? Trust me, Baker is not a “woman’s writer,” nor does he exhibit any particular feminine insights in his novels.
As I understand Baker, he’s an obsessive-compulsive author who is primarily interested in satisfying his own sexual desires. When he expresses an interest in women, his sole concern is body parts–hair, arms, breasts, vaginas–never a woman as a whole woman or a human being. I don’t know many women who find this erotic, pleasing, scintillating, or titillating. Well, actually, I don’t know any.
Dr. E. Jill Hirt