Quill and Quire


« Back to
Book Reviews

Two Ends of Sleep

by Lizard Jones

In Two Ends Of Sleep, the first novel from Vancouver artist Lizard Jones, dykes with names like Coral and Eagle cruise Commercial Drive, sipping cappuccino and cashing their unemployment cheques. Occasionally they create feminist, anti-racist art and attend demonstrations. Mostly they argue with their girlfriends and fantasize about other women.

Within this tight-knit, almost suffocating community lives Rusty, a writer, or at least she used to be a writer before she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Now she spends her days sleeping and nagging her artist girlfriend Janet about taking her work more seriously. Trouble arises in the form of Dee, a woman who may or may not be meeting Rusty for afternoon trysts – even Rusty, who lives more fully in her dreams than in her waking hours, doesn’t know for sure.

Jones has a natural, unaffected voice, an ear for dialogue and real wit, particularly when she addresses Rusty’s disability and the eccentricities of the lesbian community. But Jones, well-known for her risky, pro-sex work with the lesbian artists’ collective Kiss & Tell, plays it too safe in her writing.

It’s a pleasant enough journey, and Two Ends Of Sleep is a competent first novel, but it doesn’t leave the reader with much. Loose ends are neatly tied up, everyone grows a little, while losing nothing in the process. Jones initiates some interesting characters and situations. Rusty, for instance, is selfish and bitchy and wrapped up in self-pity – and in a hilarious scenario she even steals her rival’s van. But in the end, the otherwise talented Jones wimps out and settles for unsurprising dyke dramas.


Reviewer: Rachel Giese

Publisher: Press Gang


Price: $15.95

Page Count: 166 pp

Format: Paper

ISBN: 0-88974-072-0

Released: May

Issue Date: 1997-7

Categories: Fiction: Novels