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