Ever since H.G. Wells' 1897 novel, the notion of invisibility has been like catnip for writers and filmmakers.
Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man" used invisibility as a metaphor for discrimination and for white America's blindness. H.F. Saint, in "Memoirs of an Invisible Man" (1987), used invisibility to probe the yuppie lifestyle. "Hollow Man," the 2000 Paul Verhoeven film starring Kevin Bacon, seemed to posit that invisibility might prompt an otherwise normal man to become a serial rapist.
But what about the Invisible Woman? Except for Marvel Comics, which promoted the Fantastic Four's "Invisible Girl" to adult status some years back, the idea hasn't been kicked around that much.
So Tennessee author Jeanne Ray is almost plowing virgin soil with her new novel "Calling Invisible Women" – and she's harvesting a bumper crop.
Not surprisingly, perhaps, "Calling Invisible Women" takes the perspective of a woman of a certain age – specifically, 54-year-old Clover Hobart, a sometime garden columnist for her hometown paper in Ohio.