Fits Like a Rubber Dress
by Roxane Ward
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What does it take to squeeze into a second skin you think you want? And when you find you can’t breathe, who’s going to help you peel it off? In a celebrity-obsessed culture, when media images of women ( and women themselves ) appear to be driven by unreasonable expectations and demands, how does a 29-year-old woman fill that perfect little black dress? These questions are posed and answered in Roxane Ward’s debut novel, Fits Like a Rubber Dress, a hybrid of satire, social commentary, and tragedy. It’s the story of Indigo Blackwell, a woman who tries to reinvent herself as someone glamorous, and ends up travelling innocently through the underground world of drugs, fetish parties, and sadomasochistic sex. Indigo is married to Sam, a self-absorbed wannabe novelist. She’s bored by her career in public relations. The lives her friends lead are profoundly more interesting than her own limited existence. She realizes, the afternoon of her promotion, that the time has come for change: something bigger than a haircut, less extreme than a divorce. No sooner has she made the leap from financial security to the exhilarating uncertainty of film school, than she walks in the back door of her house, video camera in hand, to find another man’s head between her husband’s naked thighs. The camera keeps rolling as Indigo’s marriage dissolves. Alone for the first time, Indigo finds herself propelled into the kind of intense, urban life she’s always wanted. She begins an affair with Jon, a toxic young artist who treats his own life and the people in it as he would a sculpture, as things to manipulate. Fast approaching thirty, Indigo discovers that her new life doesn’t have to fit so tightly after all.
- Dundurn, April 1999
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