Illusory Stream. "Jazz Tango" by Tracy Ryan. [review]
The setting is a dirty, Blakean London, in the new millennium, where bicycles that cannot be unchained are bent and broken instead. Our ingénue, Jas, an Australian expatriate, tries to make her way as a French translator in the world of publishing. It's a struggle. Jas's literary antecedents may be traced back to Miles Franklin's "My Brilliant Career". Throughout the twentieth century, the literary tradition of the female quest for happiness beyond the constraints of colonial boundaries persisted. Dancing or running, courageous young women must symbolically break their parochial chains in order to pursue the quest. If at the start of the twenty-first century our heroine is still stumbling along London's dirty streets looking for freedom of expression, then what on earth have the likes of Miles Franklin, Shirley Hazzard or Dorothy Richardson, for that matter, been doing all these years? Peeling potatoes?