Lynne Tillman: Haunted Houses
‘Haunted Houses’ is the story of three young women. Jane’s occasionally violent father reads her the Gettysburg Address at bedtimes, while Emily’s parents are FDR Democrats who only privately concede she may be normal. Grace believes her dolls come alive at night and talk against her, and has a mother who likes animals more than people.
Tillman charts the girls’ unsteady drift into womanhood, revealing the multiple forms of inheritance – family, gender, culture – that a girl must swallow or rebel against.
‘Haunted Houses’ is about the past within the present, the inescapability of private memory and public history. In prose that is uncanny and precise, it showcases Lynne Tillman at her boldest and most trenchant.