In the Garden of Dead Cars (Pittsburgh, San
Francisco: Cleis Press,
1993) (1993 Tiptree Award Short List)
First novel: A Craving for Women (1988);
collection of stories, Loose Connections (1988).
In the Garden of Dead Cars is a surreal novel which takes place in New York approximately twenty years after "the plague," a highly infectious and rapidly effective mutation of HIV/AIDS, has wiped out a large percentage of humanity. Sex has been outlawed, comedians roam the streets, and violators of laws are "wrapped" in plastic for their crimes. From the blurb: "In this postmodern Eden we meet a feminist physician who speaks only of the past, and her daughter, Emma, who dreams of real butter and rebuilt Subarus and is sick of hearing about life before the plague." I'm not sure about "Eden," but it's definitely postmodern. Interesting for its portrayal of the mother-daughter relationship, and the thoughts about AIDS, safe sex, and government tyranny. Several of Claiborne's visions are remarkable, including the comedians, and the cat-after-the-disco scene. -- lq, 6/15/96.
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updated 06/13/07 .