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Tom Robbins: Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

Tom Robbins, maverick author of eight juicy, daring and sagacious novels, is one of those rare writers who approach rock-star status, attracting SRO crowds at his personal appearances in Europe and Australia as well as in the United States. He lives primarily in the Seattle area.
„Tom Robbins is one of our best.“
- The New York Times Book Review

Amoeba – the official mascot of Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

The novel is a transgressive romp, covering topics from homosexuality and free love to drug use and political rebellion to animal rights and body odor and religions.

Plot :
Sissy Hankshaw is a girl living in Richmond, Virginia, in the Eisenhower years, who has enormously big thumbs. Already as a little girl she discovered hitchhiking and had to practice this daily. She was arrested few times as a teenager because of her hitchhiking. As a girl, Sissy was taken to a palm-reader, Madame Zoe. There she finds out she has qualities to become a really powerful force in society and will have lots of men and women in her life. When older, she attended a Tobacco Festival where she (1st time in her life) admits she is not handicapped. After that, she takes some food and leaves her home to start a life on the roads, a hitchhiker’s life. Because since that Sissy was always on the roads, she did not have a fix home, so she kept few places where she received letters. Sometimes, when younger, Sissy used to work for the Countess as a model. She was the Yoni Yum Hygiene Dew Girl, when she modeled a line of feminine hygiene spray. The Countess was the only person sending her mails. Then, when she was almost 30, he wrote to her and wanted her to meet a man, perfect for her. She hitchhikes to meet the Countess, who wants her to meet Julian Gitche, a watercolorist. She is supposed to go out for dinner with Julian and two couples, friends of him. It all turns out really bad, when Julian gets asthma attack short after meeting Sissy.

All six of them return to Julian’s place, where he falls asleep. While he is sleeping, Sissy is intimly getting to know his friends Howard and Marie. She decides to “replace” the two of them for Julian and stays with him for a little while. But that is something Sissy can’t stand, so she leaves Julian to move on, keep on hitchhiking. Julian is exhausted, so the Countess advises him to write to Sissy. Sissy, the freest woman ever gets in touch with Julian and marries him in Manhattan. After nine months of their marriage the Countess shows up with a job for Sissy. He has a beauty ranch in the West, the Rubber Rose Ranch. There is Siwash Lake – the migratory flight path of the whooping cranes. An ad for feminine hygiene sprays with Sissy is going to be made here. But that is not really her only assignment. The Countess also wants some inside information about the trouble that is happening at the ranch. It all started when Bonanza Jellybean, a cowgirl, got a job (years ago) at the ranch. She was supposed to do some jobs for Ms. Adrian, the ranch manager. But Jellybean and some beauticians barricaded themselves in the ranch house, holding Ms. Adrian hostage. They demanded to fire all the male ranch workers and replace them with females.

So Sissy decides to hitchhike to the ranch. After arriving to the Rubber Rose Ranch, some anxiety has started. After the troubles on the ranch between Ms. Adrian and the cowgirls, Sissy gets a room to stay at there. She gets to meet Bonanza Jellybean and these two get really close to each other (too close). The “revolution” between the cowgirls and the Countess gets bigger. Sissy runs away from her darling Jellybean, she climbs to meet (to hitchhike) the Chink – an Indian being chased by pilgrims. After that Sissy returned to NY to spend there Christmas. Somehow she explained to the Countess what happened on the ranch. Julian and Dr. Goldman consider Sissy being kind of crazy, so they advise her to stay at a clinic. Dr. Goldman, getting a little bit scared of Sissy’s case, leaves it to Dr. Robbins. Sissy tells Dr. about the Chink. She tells him everything she knows and mentions hers and Chink’s meeting – not to forget about the “lovemaking”. Dr. Goldman and Dr. Robbins have a fight about Sissy – if she is normal and it is her husband who is not keeping her free or not. They find out about Sissy being in love with Jellybean. A day after their confrontation Sissy is allowed to go home. Meanwhile the whooping cranes get missing. After this, Sissy becomes silent, staying at home all the time. The Countess comes to visit and Julian finds out a reason for Sissy’s behavior – it is because of the whooping cranes.

The cowgirls are involved in it. The Countess gets injured by Sissy. After this Sissy travels to Dr. Dreyfus to ask him a favor – she wants an operation, one of her thumbs will be amputated. The cowgirls are having troubles with law because of the whooping cranes (they drugged them) and are not letting them go. After her operation, Sissy arrives to the ranch to see the girls. She is looking especially for Jellybean. The two of them spend some time together, but then Sissy leaves to see the Chink and Jellybean goes to fight for the cowgirls – and to die for them. The Rubber Rose Ranch was deeded to the cowgirls. Delores, one of the cowgirls, and Sissy became lovers.

Even Cowgirls Get the Blues written by Tom Robbins is quirky, interesting, fun to read and completely unfilmable.

"This is one of those special novels--a piece of working magic, warm, funny, and sane--that you just want to ride off into the sunset with."--Thomas Pynchon

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