"A haunting novel of sexual obsession." —The New York Times Book Review
"I have been stalking my husband's lover", claims Terry Spera, the obsessive, humorously edgy narrator of this intelligent and highly erotic tour de force, an auspicious debut novel The Washington Post hailed as "wonderfully impressive." Literally following in the footsteps of the young woman with whom she is certain her husband is having an affair, Terry eventually enters Yvonne's apartment, her closet, her medicine cabinet—and her life. As she strives to maintain a semblance of normalcy with her husband, Mark, a SoHo art dealer, Terry, and the reader, veer from certainty to uncertainty. Is Mark really having an affair?
With breathless energy, a deeply engaging voice, and a searing sensuality, Donna Masini illuminates the dim and fragmented terrain of a woman's inner life with the wit and passion of a dazzling literary talent. About Yvonne is a compelling, witty, beautifully written story of New York at the end of this century and of a woman at the end of her rope.
Masini received the Barnard New Women Poets Prize for her first book of poems, That Kind of Danger. And danger is clearly the aphrodisiac that makes Masini's splendidly erotic creative juices flow. In her first novel, narrator Theresa (Terry) Spera, an Italian-American New Yorker, is obsessively stalking Yvonne, a WASP art collector who may or may not be having an affair with Terry's husband, Mark, a gallery owner. Jealous and unhinged, Terry makes a copy of Yvonne's apartment keys and lets herself in. She tries on and steals the other woman's clothes, listens to telephone messages, reads letters and removes condoms from the medicine chest (and wonders why they're not closer to the bed). As Terry waits for conclusive proof that this elusive woman is indeed involved with her husband, the plot thickens. Terry, who teaches an English literature class as an adjunct at NYU, lurches into an affair with a student who shares her love of Yeats. Masini captures the frantic world of a desperate woman grasping for help as Terry turns to her psychiatrist, the Alanon Twelve Step program and her Catholic roots, looking for guidance and explanation. Terry's problems are serious, but she relates them with an earthy and smart sense of humor. Masini has Terry mobilize all her academic skills to understand a raw primal agony. In the end, the story isn't about Yvonne at all, of course, but about Terry. It's a smart, anguished and sexy account of a woman chasing her own psychological tail. Author tour.