Intimates

David Huddle, Author David R. Godine Publisher $20.95 (232p) ISBN 978-0-87923-933-6
The 13 stories in this fourth collection from Huddle ( The High Spirits ) are told in a voice that is both analytical and foreboding, giving these tales of love and seduction a kind of of gothic realism. In ``Scotland,'' a woman remembers touring that country when, as a teenager, she accompanied her wealthy mother, who was fleeing an abusive husband; in ``A Little Sawtooth,'' an older man recalls his grade-school days with an attractive, somber classmate. The stories come to life because of Huddle's clear, unpretentious style, reminiscent of the mixture of bewilderment and certainty found in the work of Ann Beattie and Raymond Carver. Two of the best entries, ``Henry Lagoon'' and ``Collision,'' are tense and melancholy, with a feel for small-town and college-town America. In fact, most of the pieces deal with academic life in one way or another, with several tracing the career of Frank Riggins, a tenured poet at Vermont College who is caught in an erotic (but chaste) encounter with a student in the poignant ``The Hearing.'' Although several of the tales are first-rate, one feels that Huddle is a writer in search of a story or character that he has not found on his fictional campuses, perhaps one who he--and we--can sympathize with a bit more. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1993
Release date: 03/01/1993
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