182 pages

English language

Published May 22, 1993 by Plume.


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5 stars (1 review)

2 editions

reviewed Empathy by Sarah Schulman

Lesbian experimental writing at its best

5 stars

This is such a wonderful book: as many Sarah Schulman's novels, Empathy is built on a productive tension between different narrative threads and a multitude of references. It tells the story of Anna, a Jewish lesbian woman from New York's Lower East Side who's seen too many of her friends die of AIDS and is desperate to find a lover that would not be ashamed or insecure about being queer and loving women. Meanwhile, it also unfolds a multi-layered intertextuality, which includes Freudian analysis and its most famous "case studies" about women, but also borrows from Ashkenazi Jewish American literature and especially theater. This allows for a collage of different forms of writing that delves deep into relationships, urban life, individual and collective psyche and politics.


  • Lesbians -- Fiction.
  • Lower East Side (New York, N.Y.) -- Fiction.