A feminist classic from 1950s Uruguay, The Naked Woman was met with scandal and outrage due to its erotic content, cynicism, and stylistic ingenuity. The novel follows Rebeca Linke's ardent, ultimately tragic, attempt to free herself from a hostile society.
A wild, brutal paean to freedom. It's a challenging book, one that took nearly 70 years to make its way into English ... like a written Dalí painting ... Somers' feminism is profound, and complicated. Though she does not shy away from brutality, the assaults she writes are not gratuitous. The Naked Woman is a novel about liberation, with a protagonist committed wholly to freedom ... Not all of the novel is this challenging. Somers' language is freewheeling and fantastical, and so are her scenes ... Somers didn't want to be considered a member of the Generación del 45, and it's not hard to see why: No one on Earth could keep up with her.
This slim novel packs a major wallop ... Highly surreal and somewhat reminiscent of Djuna Barnes or Clarice Lispector...an important work of twentieth century feminism whose central meaning clearly resonates today.
... continues to speak to us nowadays as fiercely and urgently as seventy years ago: more than ever, women’s bodies are the place of political battles that seek to change the way we understand desire, consent, and autonomy. The virulent resistance to women’s gains today is similar to the violence displayed toward the novel’s protagonist ... Of course, the relevance of The Naked Woman is also related to the way in which its language explodes and sparkles and it is continuously open to astonishing images. It’s impossible to read The Naked Woman as a traditional novel because meaning is often dislocated in its pages; we need to be willing to be swept by the hallucinatory flow of images as if it were a poem ... works both as a visionary linguistic experience, and an allegory of the female body’s dark powers.