Misfortune: A Novel
by Wesley Stace
Little Brown and Company. 529 pages, $23.95
WITH HIS DEBUT NOVEL, Wesley Stace (known to music lovers as John Wesley Harding) creates a world of repressed sexuality, confused identity, and deception lurking behind every corner. With the plot twists of a George Elliot yarn and the dark Gothicism of Wilkie Collins, Misfortune breaks away from the insipid, predictable type of novel that one may have come to expect of recently published fare. Its style is unconventional, and it raises a host of serious issues in the guise of fiction, notably those surrounding the fluidity and boundaries of gender and sexual identity. If Judith Butler were to write a novel, this would be it.