The Liberating Literary and African American Vernacular Voices of Gayl Jones
After five years in Europe, Gayl Jones has returned to the United States with a new attitude and two new books: Liberating Voices, a collection of essays, and The Healing, a novel. 1 Like the blues women in her highly successful early fiction, she lives a life of quiet desperation, volcanic desire, male domination, and distrust of white Americans. From its tenor, tone, and texture, her writings seem to be her political liberation and spiritual salvation. Raw, sexually explicit and violent, psychologically dense and painfully poignant, the language of the vernacular voices that Jones uses to represent the lives of Ursa in Corregidora and Eva in Eva’s Man transgresses thematic and stylistic conventions. In these early novels Jones fingers the jagged grain (Ellison’s descriptive phrase for the blues) of the legacy of slavery and the politics of identity that black women in love and trouble on the margins of society struggle to transform as they tell their own stories and sing their own songs in African American vernacular voices.
Illustrative of the complex relationship among life, language, and literature, Jones abruptly resigned her professorship at the University of Michigan in a 1983 letter to President Ronald Reagan after her husband’s violent confrontation with gay activists and his indictment for assault, taking flight to Europe with Robert Higgins, her husband. During their nearly six-year expatriation in Europe, the couple apparently lived mainly in France as the celebrated author of such black feminist novels as Corregidora (1975) and Eva’s Man (1976) immersed herself in the multilingual [End Page 247] sounds and sense of transcultural experiences, continued to write fiction, and published a novel, Die Vogelfangerin (The Birdcatcher) in Germany. Returning in late 1988 to her hometown of Lexington, Kentucky, to care for her gravely ill mother, the extremely reclusive writer arranged with Beacon Press in her usual manner (by e-mail rather than in person) to have her recent fiction published. At the same time, an intermittent conflict in writing between the Joneses and the local authorities over alleged racial injustices toward the family, especially the hospital care of her mother, culminated in a violent confrontation with the police that resulted in Robert Jones cutting his throat and Gayl Jones being hospitalized for mental examination.
Many traditional specialists in comparative literature and some contemporary multiculturalists will find Gayl Jones’s voices in Liberating Voices dulce et utile and in The Healing more experimental in theme, style and structure, yet less radically black feminist than her earlier fiction. A transhistorical, transcultural critical survey of literature, Liberating Voices focuses on the relationship of oral to written technique by African American writers and critics in their development of an indigenous literary tradition. Its thesis is that “the movement from the restrictive forms (inheritors of self-doubt, self-repudiation, and the minstrel tradition) to the liberation of voice and freer personalities in more intricate texts . . . links the writers of [the] African American literary tradition and is common to all literatures which have held (or assumed) a position of subordination to another literary tradition.” But Jones glosses over the fact that neither all subordination nor all liberation struggles are the same and that historical differences are fundamental to cultural distinctiveness. Organized in sections on poetry, short fiction, and the novel, the Introduction, fifteen chapters, and Conclusion of Liberating Voices—to my knowledge the first critical survey by a contemporary black woman writer that attempts an extended comparison of the oral foundation of African American literature with those of non-African American literatures—provide a provocative and important yet inadequate, misleading map of the oral or vernacular tradition in African American literature.
The primary importance of Liberating Voices is that in supporting the proposition that “the foundation of every literary tradition is oral, whether it is visible or invisible in the text,” Jones gives extensive examples of “the freeing of voice” in literature from different times, places, and peoples. From Chaucer and Joyce to the Canadian writer Margaret Laurence on one hand, and from Lady Murasaki”s Tale of Genji to Amos Tutuola’s The Palm-Wine Drinkard on the other, readers experience a cavalcade of stories and storytellers from around the world that move innovatively beyond [End Page 248] the conventions of their time. “Like many of their Latin American counterparts,” Jones writes in the Introduction, “African American writers frequently combine aesthetics with social motive, so that art almost always conjoins humanity and society; thus, ‘kinetic art’ is mostly championed” (Voices 2). But the most frequent comparisons of the vernacular and literary voices are with Spanish authors and texts, especially Cervantes and Lorca, who, consistent with her emphasis, were more subversive in literary technique than in thematic and social practice.
In the Conclusion, Jones makes an interesting case for the validity of a blues standard by comparing it to some of the significant literary standards and “stylistic strategies” of the oral traditions in Africa and Asia that conflict with those of the West. In her efforts to situate the oral and literary tradition of African Americans in the global context of world literature, however, Jones does not provide adequate sociohistorical and socioculutural contexts to illuminate the distinctiveness of the code-switching between dialects and between languages in the different texts that she briefly analyses and injudiciously uses to make broad generalizations in the short chapters on selected African American writers and texts. A similar inadequacy is apparent in what she calls the “movement from literary double-consciousness to literary ‘true self-consciousness’” (Voices 178).
Jones is apparently unfamiliar with many of the recent African American vernacular studies that were basically inspired by the theories and practice of Ralph Ellison, especially Shadow and Act (1964). On one hand are those by such black academics and writers as Stephen Henderson, Bernard W. Bell, John Edgar Wideman, Houston A. Baker, Jr., and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. 2 On the other hand are those by such white academics as Lawrence Levine, Keith Beyerman, John Callahan, and Eric Sundquist. 3 Although she refers vaguely to the criticism of Wideman, Baker and Gates, especially in the Postscript and Glossary, as well as to an essay by Callahan, Jones does not ground her literary theory and criticism in the distinctive historical pattern of the journey of black Americans from Africa and slavery in the United States to freedom. This weakens the authenticity and authority of her discussion of the importance of the complex relationship between black folk speech or dialect and minstrelsy.
Although her comparison of the creative use of language, especially the vernacular, by Henry James and Mark Twain is useful, Jones neglects to outline the sociohistorical contexts necessary to understand the complex dynamics of how specific racial, ethnic, gender, class, and regional power relationships were maintained or subverted by language. Specifically, she does not illumine the manner and degree to which texts during [End Page 249] the Reconstruction and post-Reconstruction periods by James, the expatriate around 1876 to England, and Twain, the migrant around 1874 to New England, neglected, reflected, or reconstructed the principles and conventions of the romantic, plantation, minstrel, and realistic traditions of literary representation in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Nor does she address the tensions between creole languages, regional dialects, and standard American English in the struggle for freedom, literacy, and civil rights in different black communities in the South and North, especially the role of publishing companies established by black churches beginning in 1817 and of black newspapers beginning in 1827, as well as the subsequent role of black literary clubs. And though her analysis of “the links between dialect, perspective, character, and audience” in Dunbar’s “The Lynching of Jube Benson” and in Sterling A. Brown’s “Uncle Joe” are highly instructive, it would have been even more illuminating had Jones explained why and how the “realistic dialect” in the 1930s of Brown, a distinguished Howard University professor, poet and critic, contrasted with the “ridiculous dialect of the minstrel tradition” and contributed to the poetic “reappraisal of the folk as serious, complex, and multidimensional” (Voices 31).
Finally, Jones’s surface comparison of Sherley A. Williams and Langston Hughes as blues poets is provocative, but misleading. Williams’s criticism of Hughes’s conventional blues poem “Young Gal’s Blues” as “‘an example of an oral form moving unchanged into literary tradition’” is cited to demonstrate that Williams’s own poem, “Someone Sweet Angel Chile,” is more improvisational (Voices 38). Instead, this conclusion dramatically demonstrates the dangers of hasty inductive leaps from inadequate evidence. Although her movement of black feminist critics and writers from the literary margins to the center is appropriately in tune with the 1980s, Jones misleadingly suggests, based on this single example, that Williams is a better blues poet than Hughes.
Even though she is insightful in her use of John Wideman’s 1976 bicentennial essay “Frame and Dialect” and acknowledges the need for asserting personal and national identity through language, Jones does not provide a clear, adequate definition of the historical and sociocultural differences among American, especially African American, dialects. Nor does her theory of a black literary voice provide a coherent explanation of how these differences influence literary representations of African American character and culture during different major art movements, except for the distorting influence of minstrel humor on Paul Laurence Dunbar, by such individuals as Harriet Beecher Stowe, Joel Chandler Harris, Thomas Nelson Page, George Washington Cable, and Mark Twain. [End Page 250]
The tension between Jones’s early education in Kentucky and elite college education in Connecticut and Rhode Island, as well as her years in Europe explains much of the paradox of her liberating voice in fiction. It also explains in part why she fallaciously assumes in the Postscript that African American literary criticism reverted between 1982, when she first wrote Liberating Voices, and 1991, when the book was first published by Harvard University Press, to “New Criticism” in reaction to the “prescriptive and proscriptive criticism” of the Black Arts movement of the 1960s. But as the writings in the late 1970s and 1980s by such important black critics as Baker, Gates, Hortense Spillers, and Robert Stepto confirm, many celebrated black academic critics moved beyond the radical, non-academic vernacular theories and practices of the Black Arts movement of the 1960s. Earning their doctoral degrees from white institutions, they were primarily influenced by the structuralism and post-structuralism of such French and continental theorists as Roland Barthes, Jacques Lacan, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Julia Kristeva, and M. M. Bakhtin. In the 1980s the aesthetic battle over literary voice and audience thus shifted once again from “art for people’s sake” to the poetics of postmodernism.
In assessing the manner and degree to which the literary and African American vernacular voices in The Healing are liberating, it is appropriate to apply Jones’s own literary standards for excellence. In her assessment of the dialect and folklore in the literary texts of Dunbar and Hurston, Jones asks: “How does one employ the language in order to return it to the elasticity, viability, and indeed complexity, ‘intelligence and sensibility,’ that it often has when not divorced from the oral modes and folk creators?” Although Jones neglects to consider the interference of the author’s idiolect, the distinctive pattern of linguistic features of one’s own speech behavior, in the literary representation of the speech of different characters with authority and authenticity, it is reasonable nevertheless for readers to examine “the elasticity, viability, and. . .complexity” of the language in The Healing. According to Wideman, moreover, “Once a convention for dramatizing black speech appears in fiction, the literary critic should be concerned not with matters of phonetic accuracy, but with tracing the evolution of a written code and determining how that code refers to the spoken language in suggestive, artful, creative ways” (“Frame and Dialect” 36).
How, then, should readers, especially literary critics, respond to the position of contemporary novelists and critics like Jones and Wideman in assessing the black voice in The Healing? Assuming that language is a system of signs for communicating ideas and feelings about reality and [End Page 251] for establishing and maintaining relationships with others, the most reasonable and appropriate response is to address their concern by focusing on the problems of agency, authenticity, and authority in the text. In narratology an agent is the representation of a human being whose speech acts influence events. But as it is used here, agency, to paraphrase philosopher Charles Taylor, is the sociocultural and sociopsychological process by which the individual assumes a responsible political position in maintaining or changing the systems of language and power by which he or she constructs and represents a personal and group identity or subjectivity of authenticity and authority. 4 Although in Sincerity and Authenticity Lionel Trilling explains authenticity “as a criterion of art and as a quality of the personal life which may be either enhanced or diminished by art,” 5 Charles Taylor defines authenticity more broadly in The Ethics of Authenticity. “[A]uthenticity (A) involves (i) creation and construction as well as discovery, (ii) originaliity, and frequently (iii) opposition to the rules of society and even potentially to what we recognize as morality. But it is also true . . . that it (B) requires (i) openness to horizons of significance (for otherwise the creation loses the background that can save it from insignificance) and (ii) a self-definition in dialogue. That these demands may be in tension has to be allowed. But what must be wrong is a simple privileging of one over the other of (A), say, at the expense of (B), or vice versa.” 6 Authenticity thus implies both transcending or overcoming restrictive material conditions and transgressing or violating social and moral boundaries. In contrast, authority is basically the power to influence or command thought, opinion, or behavior. “Three grounds on which legitimate authority often rest,” Marvin E. Olsen reminds us in “Power as a Social Process,” “are (a) traditional values, beliefs, norms, and customs, (b) legal prerogatives established through more-or-less rational agreements, and (c) special expertise or knowledge relevant to the situation. To the extent that an actor draws legitimacy from three sources . . . his authority is especially strong.” 7 The problems of agency, authenticity, and authority in The Healing are most productively explored by focusing on the residual oral forms of religious ritual, vernacular language, and music.
Although the black voice in Corregidora and Eva’s Man was praised by such literary lights as James Baldwin, Maya Angelou, James Updike, and John Wideman, Wideman’s analysis is the most critically illuminating. “In . . . Corregidora there is no hierarchical relationship between black speech and a separate literary language, no implicit dependency,” Wideman writes. “The norms of black oral tradition exist full-bodied in the verbal style of the novel: lexicon, syntax, grammar, attitudes toward [End Page 252] speech, moral and aesthetic judgments are rendered in the terms of the universe they reflect and reinforce. The entire novel flows through the filter of the narrator’s sensibility, and Corregidora’s sensibility is constructed of blocks of black speech, her own, her men’s, the speech of the people who patronize Happy’s bar, the voices of her mother and the dead black women keeping alive the memories of slavery” (“Frame and Dialect” 36). But The Healing moves beyond her previous blues novels because, as Jones states, “they emphasized the narrowest range of subject matter—the man-done-her-wrong-type blues—and even the blues itself has more possibility and range. The Healing is meant to be a rejection of those earlier novels.” 8
Rather than a blues singer, the central character and principal narrator of The Healing is a faith healer, Harlan Jane Eagleton, who was formerly a beautician who gambled on horses and the business manager of a not-so-famous black rock-and-roll singer, Joan Savage, who is a bibliophile that “prefers to be called, Savage Joan the Darling Bitch” (148). We first meet Harlan in the frame story as she travels by bus to one of the “little southern and midwestern tank towns” where she performs her healing ritual with a gathering of believers and skeptics. “I open a tin of Spirit of Scandinavia sardines, floating in mustard sauce,” the vernacular voice of the narrator begins dramatically in the opening paragraph of the novel. “The woman on the bus beside me grunts and leans toward the aisle . . . . .A Bible’s open in my lap. I’m holding it cater-cornered, trying to keep the sardine oil off the pages, or the mustard sauce. When I finish the tin of sardines, I drink the mustard sauce. The woman beside me grunts again” (3). Picked up by Martha and a local welcoming committee, Harlan reflects on the relationship of language, knowledge, and power that is the primary theme of the novel. “The women in the backseat are still thinking how common I am, how full of chitchat, and my vocabulary sounds elementary, it don’t even sound like that preacher-teacher woman that give that lecture, ain’t that wondrous and fantabulous vocabulary them healers uses, and if I could really heal, wouldn’t I already just know about them trains too? And I don’t talk that revelation talk, that prophet passion. Just some ordinary woman, could be one of them, or one of their daughters, one of their own girls” (25).
After establishing the authority and viability of the black female faith healer in the initial two chapters, the dialect becomes more elastic and complex as the story within a story shifts in flashbacks and increasingly shorter chapters to the relationship between Harlan and Joan. The agency and authority of Harlan, the protagonist/narrator, is challenged and contested by other voices in her non-linear, retrogressive movement [End Page 253] from healer to Joan’s business manager, to beautician, and to her self-healing of a stab wound from a jealous, misguided Joan that transformed her into the healing woman whom we meet in the opening chapter. The frame story closes the forty-six chapter, five-part novel enigmatically with a two-page Epilogue in the black dialect of a local hostess committee that welcomes Harlan, the healing woman, to yet another town. But in this town, Nicholas does not tell the story of her healing powers. Instead of Nicholas, she discovers a male from her past whom she least expected waiting to bear witness to her healing powers. Stylistically and structurally, The Healing is compellingly and challengingly innovative.
In moving beyond the “humorous or pathetic” black dialect of the plantation and minstrel traditions and of the conventional frame structure for representing black American culture and character, Jones filters her novel through the sensibility of the protagonist/narrator, who transgresses the hierarchical relationship between African American vernacular English and literary language and between foreign languages and standard American English dialects. Omitting all quotation marks for direct addresses and dialogue, as well as erasing all specific time markers in identifying specific episodes, Jones constructs a complex text of characters and events whose authority and authenticity are occasionally undermined by its ambitious elasticity and heteroglossia.
For example, after one of Harlan’s healing rituals, we hear the following creative voices straining to encompass both the local and global, the oral and literate modes of knowing and being in the world with others:
I can already hear ‘em talking about me, those flibbertigibbets. She ain’t no preacher woman or a teacher woman neither, she a faith healer, one of them others be saying. What’s the difference? She look like she belong on a submarine or on a motorcycle. They don’t allow womens on no submarine. On the modern submarine they do, ‘cause this is the age of feminism. Her and that bum’s jacket. It’s what they call a bomber jacket. Anyway, I seen her heal someone in D.C. I seen her when she healed in Memphis and then again in Kansas City. She even healed folks in Milan, that’s over there in Italy. Dottoressa is what they calls her there in that Milan. I seen this picture of her healing over there in Italy and she were surrounded by all these Italians who looked just liked colored people to me. Say she’s even healed folks in Brazil. I know they’s got colored people in Brazil. Curandera’s what they call her in Brazil. [End Page 254](13)
On one hand the non-standard grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation, especially the use of neologisms, foreign words, and repetition to control the vitality and rhythm of the dialogue, enhances the transgressive agency, epistemology, and ontology of the narrative as Jones juxtaposes at different times and to various degrees a wide range of voices that are orthographically but not typographically marked by hierarchical social and national distinctiveness.
On the other hand, the authority and authenticity of the wide range of voices are diminished by anomalous and incongruous repetitions of words, catalogues of books, and sentences in different languages. Although Harlan was born in New Orleans and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, for example, people say that she has a Geechee or Gullah accent, which is characteristic of the residual African speech behavior of black Americans acculturated on the Georgia and South Carolina Sea Islands. “Don’t sound like a accent to me, but other people call it a Gechee accent. Then some people tell me I got a blend of different types of accents” (43). The transgressive, experimental style and structure of The Healing suggest that crossing traditional national, cultural, social, and linguistic boundaries is the liberating healing for or faith in the promise of a new world order of mutual respect for cultural unity with diversity for believers and disbelievers. In addition to the voice of the narrator/protagonist, the range of voices whose regional distinctiveness and social variations are not clear include Martha and her welcoming committee; Josef Ehelich von Fremd, the Afro-German thorough-bred horse owner and Harlan’s lover; Nicholas, his black security guard and the witness to Harlan’s first healing; Joan, the well-read, multilingual black college graduate and socially misguided rock-and-roll singer; James, Joan’s ex-husband with whom Harlan has a sexual encounter; Norvelle, the medical anthropologist in Africa and Harlan’s ex-husband; and Jaboti, the grandmother whose stories about the turtle shell that she was required to wear while performing in a carnival as the Turtle Woman symbolizes the strategies of mask-wearing and tricksterism that enabled black Americans, especially women, to survive the prejudice of and domination by others.
In blending fact with fiction, non-standard with standard English, American with non-American languages, and vernacular with literary voices, Jones moves thematically and stylistically beyond national, cultural, and linguistic boundaries. “I grew up speaking English as well as German,” Harlan’s Afro-German lover responds to her apparent cultural provincialism. “Most Europeans speak several languages. I speak English, French, German, Dutch, a little Portuguese. It’s only you Americans who’re stingy about language, who believe that your own language is the universal [End Page 255] language. I guess it is the universal language. You’ve made it the universal language. You’ve made it so your language is identified with modernity, with internationalism. I even know some Americans, though, who’ve lived in Berlin for years, and in other European cities, and insist on speaking only English. Who insist on English only even when they’re in other people’s country” (46). Clearly critical of Harlan’s linguistic limitations, Jones, the implied author, is more sympathetic with Harlan’s contesting of modern narrative practice and modern ways of knowing and being in the world with others.
Reflecting on the possibility that Nicholas, the Afro-German’s bodyguard who “witnessed the first true healing,” would retire as her “confabulatory” witness, and foreshadowing his replacement in the Epilogue, Harlan states:
Course there’s probably a lot of fakers that hires theyselves witnesses, y’all know like them evangelist fakers—there’s true evangelists and there’s evangelist fakers—and some of them probably do better witnessing than the true witnesses. You know, maybe one of them evangelist fakers have a true witness to thy healings, but the people don’t believe the true witness so’s they’s got to hire theyselves a fake witness, ‘cause the fake witness to the healings is more believable than the true witness. Now I’m wondering whether that would make the healer a faker, if the healings theyselves is real, but the healer got to hire a fake witness, ‘cause even the true believers don’t believe the true witness. ‘Cause maybe the fake witness got more confabulatory imagination than the true witness that just got a knowledge of the healings.”(11)
In so far as truth is a fictive or imaginative construction in language that communicates the ideas and feelings of the speaker or writer about the nature of reality to an audience, storytelling is both an epistemological and ontological act.
Nicholas, for example, “usedta tell the tale with more fanfare, more flourish, more confabulatoriness. And when he tells about that healing, it sounds like a true tale; it don’t sound like no confabulatory tale. Lest the way he usedta tell the tale of that healing. Now he tends to be kinda dry. And those people that come to faith healing most of them want to hear confabulatory-sounding stories, which don’t mean they’s confabulatory stories they ownself. It’s just that when people come to be healed, they just likes to hear them confabulatory-sounding stories. And there’s other folks that comes to them faith healings not to be heal′d but [End Page 256] to be entertained, like it’s a circus or a carnival rather than a faith healing. Them sorts you don’t know whether there’s true believers amongst them or not” (11). Rather than provide a specific example of Nicholas’ “confabulatory” storytelling, the entire text of The Healing is Jones’ “confabulatory” tale.
Unlike her earlier novels, the language of the vernacular and literary voices in The Healing is neither raw, nor sexually explicit and violent, nor painfully poignant. Instead, the language with which Jones constructs the lives of Harlan Eagleton and Joan Savage, aspires with uneven success to the narrative and sociolinguistic standards or elasticity, viability, and complexity that the novelist outlines in Liberating Voices. By grounding her text in the religious ritual of healing, the vernacular voices of a black healing woman, and the music of a college-educated black rock-and-roll singer, Jones moves beyond the cultural limitations of her blues voice in Corregidora and Eva’s Man. In order to expand the varieties and complexities of agency, authority, and authenticity that mark The Healing, Jones explicitly contrasts the notorious Eva of her earlier novel with the identity formation of contemporary Americans of African descent, especially ordinary black women who are not “criminally insane.” But only Jones’s imaginative construction of Harlan bears witness to some of the levels of irony and paradox that mark the political and spiritual struggle of many black women to reconcile the double consciousness of their personal and group identities as people of African descent. Stylistically and structurally, the liberation movement of the novel is most apparent in the non-linear, reflexive interplay between the past and present, the spoken and written language, and the vernacular and formal cultural forms of the characters. Regrettably, however, the liberating movement of the voices in The Healing disrupts a static, unitary, blues construction of black identity with a more confusing than compelling narrative vision of an emerging transracial, transcultural social order of variable ways of knowing and being black in the world with others. Even so, many readers, including the National Book Awards Panel that nominated the book as a finalist, may judge the vision and voices of The Healing more satisfying than other novels published in 1998
1. Gayl Jones, Liberating Voices: Oral Tradition in African American Literature (New York: Penguin, 1992); Gayl Jones, The Healing (Boston: Beacon, 1998).
2. Stephen Henderson, Understanding the New Black Poetry (New York: William Morrow, 1973); Bernard W. Bell, The Folk Roots of Contemporary Afro-American Poetry (Detroit: Broadside, 1974); Bernard W. Bell, The Afro-American Novel and Its Tradition (Amherst: U of Massachusetts P, 1987); John Edgar Wideman, “Frame and Dialect: The Evolution of the Black Voice in Fiction,” American Poetry Review 5 (1976): 33–37; John Edgar Wideman, “Defining the Black Voice in Fiction,” Black American Literary Forum 2 (1977), 79–82; Houston A. Baker, Jr., Blues, Ideology, and Afro-American Literature (Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1984); and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., The Signifying Monkey (New York: Oxford UP, 1988).
3. Lawrence Levine, Black Culture and Black Consciousness (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1977); Keith Byerman, Fingering the Jagged Grain, (Athens: U of Georgia P, 1985); John Calla-han, In the African American Grain (Urbana: U of Illinois P, 1988): and Eric Sundquist, The Hammers of Creation, (Athens: U of Georgia P, 1992).
4. Gerald Prince, Dictionary of Narratology: Human Agency and Language (Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1987) Chapter One.
5. Lionel Trilling, Sincerity and Authenticity (Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1971) 134.
6. Charles Taylor, The Ethics of Authenticity (Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1991) 66.
7. Marvin E. Olsen, “Power as a Social Process,” Power in Societies (New York: Macmillan, 1970) 7.
8. Quoted in Veronica Chambers, “The Invisible Woman Reappears—Sort Of,” Newsweek (16 February 1998) 68.