The opening chapter of Flesh And Blood is entitled “Fred”, and begins with Fred's confession that he has murdered his mother. We believe Fred is male, although later we are proved wrong. He prowls Soho dressed in trousers and heavy shoes, but when he enters a dress shop we are forced to question our assumptions about his identity. Fred is seduced by the colours and textures of the dresses, and tries one on, seeing the disguise as a means of escaping punishment. He seems to be on the verge of confessing to the murder, but then he thinks of Scheherazade, who told stories to save her life. What follows is a series of linked stories which examine, from a feminist perspective, gender identity, the mother/daughter relationship, and women's strategies for survival in patriarchal society.
Citation: Mellor, Julie. "Flesh and Blood". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 July 2002 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=5117, accessed 11 December 2023.]