Good Deal

Mary Heath, Editor, Fred Miller Robinson, Editor
Mary Heath, Editor, Fred Miller Robinson, Editor University of Massachusetts Press $22.95 (344p) ISBN 978-0-87023-640-2
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
This admirable collection gathers 20 stories from the Massachusetts Review . Several of the best pieces focus on the terrible gaps in human communication: the fierce, often thwarted, desire to connect. In Tim Gautreaux's ``Just Turn Like a Gear,'' prison administrator Billy Willit seeks an appropriate volunteer to execute a murderer; and the narrator of Jincy Willett's ``Under the Bed'' describes, with agonizing calm, the experience and aftermath of her rape by a man who breaks into her apartment. William Loizeaux's luminous ``Beside the Passaic'' is a masterful exploration of a young couple's tentative gestures toward each other after the death of their baby. Though the authors use varying voices and stylesSherley Anne Williams's black dialect, Willett's tightly controlled, excruciatingly correct prose, Eric Wilson's casual, collegiate language, R. M. Berry's mock academic analysisthe stories share a certain honesty. All are polished, yet have a refreshing lack of slickness. Rather than self-consciously straining to impress, they simply and indelibly do just that. (Nov.)
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