Mary MacLane a dix-neuf ans quand elle publie en 1902 son premier livre, Que le diable m'emporte. oeuvre anticonformiste à la liberté souveraine, ces confessions aussi sulfureuses que courageuses firent sensation à l'époque, puisque cent mille exemplaires se sont vendus dès le premier mois de leur publication. Mary MacLane y décrit l'ennui et les aspirations à contre-courant d'une jeune fille du Montana. Tour à tour drôle, poétique et sensuelle, elle y fait étalage de ses fantasmes et proclame son génie tout en défendant des idées philosophiques scandaleuses.
I, Mary MacLane--the follow-up to I Await the Devil’s Coming--available now from Melville House, with a foreword by Emily Gould
Fifteen years separate I Await the Devil’s Coming and Mary MacLane’s follow-up memoir, I, Mary MacLane (1917). They were years filled with men and affairs, drink and debauchery, war, friendship, and independence in New York and Boston. That independence was cut short by an illness that brought MacLane home to the loathed, provincial Butte, Montana, where once again she took up her pen.
In I, Mary MacLane, the national sensation told all, revealing many of the salacious details of her taste of freedom. As we now know, though, the battle for freedom had only just begun: if I Await the Devil’s Coming was a rallying cry for young girls, I, Mary MacLane was a dispatch from the front lines of early feminism. Every page speaks of the bravery of MacLane and her peers.
Just over a decade after I, Mary MacLane was published, its author died under mysterious circumstances in Chicago, having sunk from sensation to obscurity. The book remains one of the last documents we have of her life.
Mary MacLane’s I Await the Devil’s Coming is a shocking, brave and intellectually challenging diary of a 19-year-old girl living in Butte, Montana in 1902. Written in potent, raw prose that propelled the author to celebrity upon publication, the book has become almost completely forgotten.
In the early 20th century, MacLane’s name was synonymous with sexuality; she is widely hailed as being one of the earliest American feminist authors, and critics at the time praised her work for its daringly open and confessional style. In its first month of publication, the book sold 100,000 copies -- a remarkable number for a debut author, and one that illustrates MacLane’s broad appeal.
Now, with a new foreward written by critic Jessa Crispin, I Await The Devil’s Coming stands poised to renew its reputation as one of America’s earliest and most powerful accounts of feminist thought and creativity.