Louder Than Words: 22 Authors Donate New Stories to Benefit, Share Our Strengths, Fight Against Hun Ger, Homelessness

William Shore, Editor
William Shore, Editor Vintage Books USA $12 (340p) ISBN 978-0-679-72157-4
Reviewed on: 11/28/1989
Release date: 12/01/1989
Alas, this well-intentioned volume, assembled to benefit Shore's agency for the hungry and homeless, reinforces T. S. Eliot's judgment that sincerity is not a literary virtue. An impressive array of writers, from Joyce Carol Oates to Lisa Alther, Louise Erdrich and Mona Simpson, donate previously unpublished stories that display accomplished styles but generally lack lasting impact. Some, such as ``A Woman Like a Fieldstone House,'' Anne Tyler's conservatively constructed study of a woman over a span of 50 years, and Michael Dorris's ``Groom Service,'' a wry look at Native American courtships, are poignant; and perhaps the most interesting contributions are the two that scrutinize the nature of charity and almsgiving--Michael Rosen's long poem `` `Gordon Penn Is a Winner!' '' about wading through junk mail and solicitations from various worthy causes, and Charles Baxter's ``Shelter,'' an unsparing assessment of the motives behind one man's do-goodism. (Dec.)
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