Quickening

Liza Wieland, Author
Liza Wieland, Southern Methodist Univ., $23.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-87074-564-5
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This third collection from Wieland (A Watch of Nightingales) features resonant, well-crafted stories of women—and one man—who examine the past to discover truths about the world and themselves. "Some Churches" begins with a woman catching a baby dropped from a window, and later she saves a young boy from traffic, all while remembering time spent with the daughter she gave up years ago. In "La Fenetre," a woman with survivor's guilt returns to her small French town in 1952 to attend the trial of the German and Alsatian soldiers who killed her family and most of the townspeople. "The Girl with the Radium Eyes," told from the perspective of Eve Curie, daughter of scientists Pierre and Marie, shows another postwar trial, that of Ezra Pound. And in "Pound in Venice," a 16-year-old girl briefly meets the writer and his wife in Italy; years later Pound's wife entrusts her with Pound's final manuscript. Wieland's writing is strong, nuanced, and evocative, peppered with moments of unexpected beauty and depth. (Mar.)
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