Original date of publication: 1932, 1933, 1930
My edition:1982 (Virago Modern Classics)
Why I decided to read:
How I acquired my copy: Philly bookshop, August 2011
Women Against Men is a collection of three novels published in 1932, 1933, and 1937. Delicate Monster is the story of a writer and her many husbands, told from the point of view of a family friend; The Single Heart is the story of a young woman’s marriage and subsequent reconnection with an old flame; and A Day Off is the story of a middle-aged fallen on hard times woman who looks back on her life.
The theme is as the title states, about the relationships and sometimes conflicts between women and men. But it’s also about the conflicts between women, particularly as seen in Delicate Monster (you get a sense of jealousy from the narrator over her friend’s exploits). Other than that theme, though, there’s not much to connect these three novellas. They don’t work either as short stories or longer-length books, so I got the feeling that these are somewhat unfinished. I wasn’t nearly as interested as I wanted to be in the stories of the characters in these novellas. By the time I got to the third story, I was so disinterested that I started skipping just to get to the end. I normally really like Storm Jameson’s writing; I enjoyed Company Parade; but I just didn’t like Women Against Men.