Recently, a number of novels by women have investigated the nature of female subjectivity. Sheila Heti’s “How Should A Person Be?” and, in a more astringent mode, Rachel Cusk’s “Outline,” present female subjectivity as fragmentary or contingent. In order to dramatize such internal disarray, Heti paints a Cubist portrait of herself from shards of memory, taped conversations, lists and dialogue, while Cusk removes her narrator from direct scrutiny altogether, allowing her to take shape as a curiously empty space formed by the currents of talk that swirl around her. The impetus behind such experiments, as Zadie’s comment suggests, comes from the idea that the authority a male writer assumes doesn’t originate in himself but in the structure of society, which he inherits like a mantle, but which slips from the shoulders of a woman, or just feels ridiculous to wear.
Quelle: NY Times Magazine