We start the week with good news for the novel 'Las razones de Jo' (Jo's Reasons), by Isabel Franc. Originally published by Editorial Lumen in 2006, this is a very personal look into Loise May Alcott's classic novel 'Little Women', and to its main character Jo March.
'Little Women' has been a point of reference for several generations of readers, and Jo March the rebellious main character with which most of us have identified as readers. A brave warrior, this young woman rejected society’s gender roles and channeled her desires for independence into her writing. But the enthusiasm that drew us to her turned to disappointment when, at the end of the book, Jo decides to get married and give up writing. There have been numerous interpretations of this ending, but the question remains: "Why did she do it?"
Las razones de Jo poses a response in Jo’s own voice and with her same rebellious nature. The author that has brought her back to life on the page, Isabel Franc, gets into the character’s skin in order to reinvent her and give her the last word from her own pen. Jo provides her own perspective on what happened: Papa was no hero; he went to the front because he was fed up with so many women.
There is also a battle fought over love. Jo falls in love with a woman in New York, turning her long-imagined fantasies into reality. With her, she experiences a relationship on equal terms, knowing pleasure and sharing intellectual ideas and interests. She denounces the theory of the period that considered homosexuality a disease and demands the right to live her love freely.
Finally, our little woman returns to her hometown and marries a dull man. But she doesn’t stop writing, and in a drawer in the room of her own that she’s always kept she stores her unpublished works. Among them is this literary legacy in which she explains her reasons...
Isabel Franc made her literary debut with the novel Entre todas las mujeres (Tusquets 1992), an unusual book that was named as a finalist in the Premio La Sonrisa Vertical. She has participated in several poetry collectives (Abecedaria 1995, 1996 and 1997) and has published short stories in the magazines Zero and Nosotras. Amongst other novels, she is the author of the celebrated Trilogía de Lola Van Guardia, edited by Egales, which includes the titles: Con Pedigree (1997); Plumas de Doble Filo (1999); and La mansión de las Tríbadas (2002), all three translated into French and published by Odin.
She recently published a graphic novel in collaboration with Susanna Martín: Alicia en un mundo real (Alice in a Real World, Norma Editorial, 2010).