A Thing of the Moment is a narrative meditation on the subject of identity recounted in the first person singular by three women whom we follow from childhood to early adulthood, from the early 1970s to the late 1990s. It comprises their three interwoven stories... of how one girl deals with parental rejection, of how another emigrates from Japan in order to leave a strait-jacket society and of how a third deals with sexual abuse.
Sharon has no self-worth - no `sense of self' - she can only see herself through the eyes of others and will do anything to be liked... Japanese Mie has a steely sense of who she is; she takes full ownership of herself, her decisions, what happens to her and how she treats others... Isabella has a predisposition to see herself from the outside and demonstrates her ability to leave her body at moments of physical stress...
And then there's Sebastian. While Sharon is the thread that ties the lives of the three women together, Sebastian is the knot - the bow and the beau - he delivers the climax. Having befriended all three female protagonists, he ties the themes that run through the novel together - the soul, the body, meat, cannibalism, selfhood, sex, choice, the meaning people seek to attach to life and the role of cities in shaping our lives.
From John Gray's Straw Dogs (2002): "The I is a thing of the moment, and yet our lives are ruled by it. We cannot rid ourselves of this inexistent thing."
Number of pages: 416
Dimensions: 216 x 138 mm