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Chapter 3, “The Blood-Stained Bed,” ponders the lifeworld of Eva Medina Canada, the protagonist of Gayl Jones’s novel Eva’s Man (1976). Raised an only child in a black working-class household in New York City in the 1940s and 1950s, Eva’s girlhood is marked by sexual violation and violence perpetrated by men and boys. Her madness—likely the result of decades of abuse and trauma—culminates in the murder and mutilation of a man who, like so many before him, seeks to sexually objectify her. Eva’s violence as a terrible catharsis unleashed upon (an individual who becomes proxy for) a racist-sexist world. The chapter reveals how madness animates and structures Eva’s first-person narrative, how symptomology becomes narratology in the book, how an act of “murder!” and an achievement of “metaphor” strangely converge in the story, and how Eva deserves the radical compassion of her reader.

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