I made a Venn-Diagram of my readers — those that have read and sent their comments: Jews and homosexuals. I should be promoting this book in Manhattan or Tel-Aviv.
The novel’s heroine, Josie García has proven to be a favorite of the chosen people (a term that can be applied to bagel eaters and pillow-munchers alike), which is quite a relief and a compliment to my skills as an author, considering that the “little slut,” as she gets called in one occasion, says things that, oftentimes, aren’t too nice and make her seem a bit unlikable.
In Chapter 13, she says about an holocaust survivor: “I wish she had died in the ovens!”
And in Chapter 24, she raps: “You’re a faggot. And that man is your lover!”
In her defense: It’s 1959.
A reader just sent me a text saying that she is a “well-drawn, lovable, flawed character.” Well, thank you. Josie can be a little insensitive, but she’s not bad. Yes, she borrows a few things from Sears, takes advantage of the little woman, breaks her boyfriend’s heart, gets drunk and passes out, loses her clothes easily, never pays rent, can’t stand poetry and loses interest in Jack Kerouac the moment she finds out he’s not handsome, etcetera. She’s selfish and self-centered, but who isn’t? Who wants to read about nice people anyway? Well-behaved heroines are so passé! What we want is to read about beautiful princesses, even if they’re borderline evil.
And Josie is a true princess. From Chapter 8: “Not a single drop of royal blood ran through Josie’s veins—her father, a farm worker, her mother, a seamstress; both of them poor Latino immigrants, with no taste for fancy—but you could tell that she was of noble stock, in spite of her humble provenance, and without the need of a pea and two tens of mattresses, purely and simply because she was pretty. And by pretty we mean prettier than most … To the eyes of our tight-lipped little friend, unaccustomed to beautiful things, the rather rustic girl was a ravishing creature; graceful and bodacious; infinitely wise and generous. The closest thing to perfection.”