Award for Terminal Velocity
Lambda Literary Award Nominee
San Francisco Chronicle:
“Spirited, funny and acutely observant…. Boyd creates smart, engagingly human characters.”
“A very funny book and quite a sad one…. Boyd is masterful at capturing the nuances of this recent piece of history.”
“A serious… never humorless journey of self-discovery.”
Time Out New York:
“Enthralling… Boyd’s book stirs up questions of sexual identity and social history and never let’s settle.”
“The very funny Miss Boyd scorches another mean pass to the truth.”
“A rollicking, kaleidoscopic trip through the drug-tinged lesbian-feminist counter-culture of the 1970s… Blanche McCrary Boyd is one of America’s unpredictable literary outlaws.”
“Boyd’s talent for creating convincingly tangled psychological webs is undeniable, but her novels are as unshaped as life itself.”
About the Book
“In 1970 I realized that the Sixties were passing me by. I had never even smoked a joint, or slept with anyone besides my husband. A year later I had left Nicky, changed my name from Ellen to Rain, and moved to a radical lesbian commune in California named Red Moon Rising, where I was playing the Ten of Hearts in an outdoor production of Alice in Wonderland when two FBI agents arrived to arrest the Red Queen . . .”
So begins Blanche McCrary Boyd’s brilliantly raucous account of self-styled feminist outlaws, their desperate adventures and extraordinary fates. Ellen, the narrator of Boyd’s previous novel, The Revolution of Little Girls, this time pierces the heart of the sexual revolution in her quest to find a woman hero or--by default--to become one.
Ferociously paced, Terminal Velocity delineates six wonderfully engaging characters: Artemis Foote, for whom being rich, talented, and beautiful is a kind of game; Jordan, a messianic fugitive who becomes Ellen’s lover; Amethyst Woman, a Marxist/Leninist dentist; Ross, a red-diaper baby and now a columnist for Ramparts; and Pearl, an art history professor turned hippie. At the center of this vortex is Ellen, prior to her transformation happily married and a rising young editor at a genteel publishing house in Boston. Together with these women, she is caught in the political and moral tailspin of the Sixties, living in a sexualized world-without-boundaries that leads them, eventually, to destruction, acceptance, and even redemption.
Deadpan funny and exquisitely moving, Terminal Velocity brings Boyd’s lyricism, humor, and depth to material largely unexplored in American literature.