Street Songs: New Voices in Fiction

Jane Hill, Author
Jane Hill, Author Longstreet Press $10.95 (1p) ISBN 978-0-929264-27-1
Reviewed on: 05/01/1990
Release date: 05/01/1990
This newcomer to the annual short fiction anthology scene overflows with fresh talent, showcasing works by writers who have not yet published a book of fiction. Each of these 20 stories (appearing previously in the New Yorker , Paris Review , Quarry , etc.) has an emotional resonance that lingers long after the last word has been read. For the most part, editor Hill ( An American Christmas: A Sampler of Contemporary Stories and Poems ) has chosen tales concerned with people struggling desperately to wrest meaning from their mundane existences. Perhaps the most startling--and invigorating--piece is Daniel Hayes's ``What I Wanted Most of All,'' a set of confessional, stream-of-consciousness monologues in which the unnamed ``I'' examines various events of his past in an attempt to gauge the extent of his psychic growth. Also salient are Sharon Sakson's ``The Girl from the Red Cross,'' in which a shallow nurse experiences a tragically brief awakening while working in a Beirut hospital, and Elizabeth Graver's ``Square Dance,'' wherein a young woman's physical affliction provides a metaphor for the sporadic--but often excruciating--pain of everyday life. (June)
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