Bodies of Water

Rosanne Cash, Author
Rosanne Cash, Author Hyperion Books $19.45 (144p) ISBN 978-0-7868-6083-8
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
Paperback - 133 pages - 978-0-380-72944-9
Hardcover - 111 pages - 978-0-575-06451-5
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The singer/lyricist whose words put a cerebral edge on country-and-western music moves into fiction with this impressive collection of nine short stories. Cash varies modes here, including epistolary tales (""A Week at the Gore"") and prose-poems (""Shelly's Voices""; ""The Arc of Loneliness"") as well as traditional stories. Each tale is told in the first person, except ""Part Girl,"" the strongest of the lot, which details how Elsa, a middle-aged teacher traversing Europe, comes to understand that the passage of time damages not only monuments but also innocence. Also worthy is the title story, the narrator of which is a musician who finds each of her performances to be a ""nightly crucible and reflecting pool."" In contrast, the prose poems are relatively inaccessible and beg to be reset in meter. With persistent earnestness, if not skill, Cash takes the reader through women's lives of raw-nerved wakefulness and nightmarish dreaminess. Author tour. (Mar.)
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