The People Down South

Cary Holladay, Author
Cary Holladay, Author University of Illinois Press $14.95 (132p) ISBN 978-0-252-01668-4
Reviewed on: 08/01/1989
Release date: 08/01/1989
In these 15 succinct and perceptive stories, Holladay, winner of the 1986 Fiction Network Short Fiction Contest, focuses on intelligent women in their mid-20s who seem destined to make unfortunate choices, or who are subtly self-destructive. A 25-year-old teacher in ``Under Glass,'' home for an uneasy Christmas family reunion, is painfully reminded of a young sweetheart who is now committed to someone else. In ``Malta Fever,'' a young musician finds (perhaps to her satisfaction) that her sharp-edged humor has driven away her wealthy fiance. And 25-year-old Mary Flagg, soon to be married, views remnants of a neighbor's unsatisfying life in ``Yard Sale'' and suddenly opts for one last, ill-advised fling. Other, more powerful stories (``Squabs'' and ``To Ashes'') hint at barely controlled violence. While some what uneven, this small collection draws some extraordinarily fine portraits of the people down South. (Aug.)
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