A Stranger in This World

Kevin Canty, Author Doubleday Books $20 (180p) ISBN 978-0-385-47387-3
This first collection shines with verbal brilliance--the surface of these stories moves and writhes like live skin. In fact, Canty's attention to the outward appearance of things is at the forefront of these pieces: of a young retarded woman in ``Judy,'' he says ``Everything she felt was on her face.'' Of Tina, in ``The Victim,'' the narrator observes, ``She scribbled on this emptiness herself: eleven earrings in her left ear, two in her right. She's shaved her legs and dyed her hair . . . trying to write a new version of herself.'' But it is what moves beneath these surfaces that becomes a little trying for the reader, for Canty seems to distrust his eye and ear, investing his narratives with tabloid violence or soap-operatic drama. There is an exploding head; there is ``Margaret, hanging like a red doll out the hole in the windshield''; and epiphany upon epiphany. Still, Canty has enormous promise. The opening story, ``King of the Elephants,'' ends with an image so beautiful and so strange that it can't be paraphrased: ``I looked at the trucks passing by on the highway and I watched my shadow circle around me in the headlights, the thin man torn to nothing in the dark, again and again. After a few minutes of watching I turned back toward the car, where my father was sleeping.'' Altogether, an impressive debut. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/04/1994
Release date: 07/01/1994
Show other formats
Paperback - 192 pages - 978-0-679-76394-9
Open Ebook - 97 pages - 978-0-307-82616-9
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-04548-4
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.