Friday, March 4, 2011
"TIGER, TIGER" by Margaux Fragoso
Here's an interesting take on pedophilia, for those who can handle this sort of thing. The book, which is actually Ms. Fragoso's daring memoir, chronicles her life and times as a 7 year-old girl who was seduced by an older man. A fifty one year old man, at that.
Among many things, what makes this story so interesting to me is its setting, which takes place where I lived for many years, in Weehawken and Union City, New Jersey. The many references to the Cuban culture certainly brings back memories. In 1985 I was 24 and for all I know, I might have crossed paths with Margaux at the Pollo Supremo, (Supreme Chicken) one of my favorite eateries mentioned in the book.
But what really makes this story so compelling is that we can only wonder how something like this could ever happen. Based on Fragoso's introduction and her opening paragraphs, I get the eerie feeling that many young girls (precocious and misguided) have also dabbled in this kind of forbidden love affair at such an early age. I can only surmise the publication of this book might serve as a catalyst in bringing out another disturbing truth.
Whatever the case might be, this story brings to mind, "Last Tango in Paris," which also has shades of pedophilia or at least, very graphic sexual content between an older man and a younger woman, which also borders on hardcore pornography.
Strangely, Margaux Fragoso's lover of 15 years encouraged her to pen this story in many of the suicide notes he left behind. (No spoiler.) How's that for artistic encouragement? Very freaky indeed.
Do I recommend this book? Everything I post here is highly recommended, albeit of the unusual but intriguing variety. If you're a subscriber to this Blog, you already know that I painstakingly choose my literature, and this is no exception. While written mostly for a female audience, there's enough here to keep me, as well as other men, interested and intrigued, hopefully, to the bittersweet end.
The book borrows its title from a William Blake poem by the same name (although spelled "Tyger") and used metaphorically, of course, reflecting the authors fascination with tigers and apparently, how they prowl the dark, dangerous jungles of life, hence, the cover.