It is not her body that he wants but it is only through her body that he can take possession of another human being, so he must labor upon her body, he must enter her body, to make his claim.
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'A Fair Maiden' existed in notes and sketches for perhaps a year. When I traveled, I would take along with me my folder of notes - 'ideas for stories.' Eventually, I began to write it and wrote it fairly swiftly - in perhaps two months of fairly intense writing and rewriting. Most of my time writing is really re-writing.
'The Accursed' is very much a novel about social injustice as the consequence of the terrible, tragic division of classes - the exploitation not only of poor and immigrant workers but of their young children in factories and mills - and as the consequence of race hatred in the aftermath of the Civil War and the freeing of the slaves.
'We Were the Mulvaneys' is perhaps the novel closest to my heart. I think of it as a valentine to a passing way of American life, and to my own particular child - and girlhood in upstate New York. Everyone in the novel is enormously close to me, including Marianne's cat, Muffin, who was in fact my own cat.