Reservation Blues (1995) by Sherman Alexie is an important novel. The central characters include Victor Joseph, Junior Polatkin, and Thomas Builds-The-Fire (32 years old), who appear in Alexie’s earlier book The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. Robert Johnson also appears on the Spokane Reservation (created in 1881) in eastern Washington and gives his guitar to Thomas. Wellpinit is the only town on the reservation. The novel follows the adventures of the trio and their band. The other characters include Big Mama, Chess and Checkers (two sisters) and Father Arnold.
How to Save Your Own Life by Erica Jong is her second partly biographical book and a really interesting and revolutionary work on identity, gender roles, and meta-narration.
Identity of the author/narrator is distorted by the press, the strangers “who project their fantasies and frustrations on you” and those people “who envy you and imagine they would like to replace you” (8).
Narration strategies: letter writing (from a fan, Celia Laffont), play dialogue between Bennett and her when they are going to the airport to teach the Craft of Writing to Pastoral U, footnote on the F Questionnaire (75) that determines which men are safe to fuck and invented by Gretchen Kendall, list of How to Save Your Own Life / (The Wit & Wisdom of Isadora Wing) (190) and Josh’s letters to her.
Rana Dasgupta describes the novel as, “The novel, as the title suggests, is about practices of the body. It enters households from their refrigerators, dining tables and kitchens, and it recounts human relationships in the language — not only of fasting and feasting — but also of greed, craving, taboo, disgust, bulimia and every other kind of relation to food. With its two linked novellas, one set in India and the other in the United States, the novel gives an excruciating account of how society can seize control of individuals — especially women — through such practices as eating, and remove them from everything they intended to be” (Dasgupta).