Approaching Eye Level

Vivian Gornick, Author Beacon Press (MA) $18 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8070-7090-1
Apparently Gornick writes only when she has something to say (Fierce Attachments was published in 1988), with the result that readers may not be conversant with her output of honed observations and unflinching conclusions. She is a New Yorker through and through. No place else in the country, or on the globe for that matter, nurtures her need for contact, variety and pure, random amazement. ""The street,"" she tells us, ""does for me what I cannot do for myself. On the street nobody watches, everyone performs."" Everyone, that is, but Gornick. She watches a man and woman arguing on Ninth Avenue near the bus station; knowing nothing of the causes or the results of the situation becomes a part of the happening: ""She too has New York kinky hair. For the moment that's comradeship enough."" But there's more to these seven original essays than a hymn to Manhattan. There is also exploration of that most brutal and unconquerable of human sorrows, loneliness. One can learn more about the human soul from ""On Living Alone"" than can be absorbed on a first encounter. ""Loneliness was me cut off from myself. Loneliness was the thing nothing out there could cure."" Without even a flicker of self-pity, these short pieces bear rereading many times. Author tour. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1996
Release date: 09/01/1996
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

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.