A Glimpse of Sion's Glory and Other Stories

Isabel Colegate, Author
Isabel Colegate, Author Viking Books $14.95 (153p) ISBN 978-0-670-80897-7
Reviewed on: 11/01/1985
Release date: 11/01/1985
Colegate's cool, elegant prose, threaded with delicate ironies and acutely sensitive to nuances of class structure, is displayed at its best in the three stories that make up this collection. ""The Girl Who Had Lived Among Artists'' examines the relationship between two young men and a beautiful, amoral girl who disturbs their lives, with fatal results for one of them. For the other, the world has been ``irrevocably changed''; a protective layer has been removed from his existence. ``Distant Cousins'' integrates elements of science fiction and mystery in the chronicle of a gentle, mentally advanced but physically vulnerable human species living in a remote part of Russia, who are unwittingly destroyed by the very scientists who discover them, one of whom narrates the sad, astonishing events. The title story concerns a man deemed brilliant in his youth whose genius, unfocussed and dissipated in the turbulence of the 1960s and '70s, becomes a reproachful burden, and whose undeclared love costs him dear. All three stories, then, deal with lives that have failed after a moment of brilliant promise. Yet the tales are not depressing; each carries a seed of hope that the future can provide a healing synthesis, albeit with diminished expectations. This fine collection and the release of the movie of The Shooting Party should widen Colegate's reputation here. November
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