by Susan Daitch
Publication Date: 03/01/2002
Blending historical fiction with feminist and revolutionary politics, Susan Daitch's first novel is a complex and unique look at the controversial nature of historical representations. This story within a story within a story opens in 1968, with a preface to Dr. Willa Rehnfield's translation of Lucienne Crozier's diary. Although the authenticity of Lucienne's account is uncertain, her diary attests to her involvement in the 1848 revolution in Paris, an illicit love affair, and her eventual exile from France. Midway through Rehnfield's translation, a distinctly modern voice emerges from the footnotes. These notes belong to Dr. Rehnfield's literary executor, Jane Amme - a Berkeley radical on the run for her actions during the student riots of the 1960s - who uncovered the translated diary and became intrigued with the parallels between Lucienne's depictions of revolution and her own experiences. Dissatisfied with Dr. Rehnfield's translation, Jane defiantly rewrites the final outcome of Lucienne's story, reclaiming this forgotten Frenchwoman as a prototype of the modern feminist.