“People used to tell me, if you keep on writing maybe you’ll make a name for yourself,” New York–based artist and writer Constance DeJong (born 1950) wrote in Modern Love. “They were right: My name’s Constance DeJong. My name’s Fifi Corday. My name’s Lady Mirabelle, Monsieur Le Prince, and Roderigo. Roderigo’s my favorite name. First I had my father’s name, then my husband’s, then another’s. I don’t know. I don’t want to know the cause of anything.”
Modern Love, DeJong’s first book, was published in 1977 by Standard Editions, an imprint co-founded by DeJong and Dorothea Tanning. In 1978, the text was adapted into a 60-minute radio program accompanied by the “Modern Love Waltz,” a piano composition by Philip Glass. In this new edition, DeJong’s debut novel is brought back into print, her dissonant shifts of voice and inimitable staccato rhythm made available to a new generation of readers.