Sailing to Corinth

Irene Wanner, Author
Irene Wanner, Author Owl Creek Press $22 (235p) ISBN 978-0-937669-29-7
Reviewed on: 01/01/1970
Release date: 01/01/1955
While the 14 stories in this collection (winner of a Western States Book Award) are uneven, most of them pique the curiosity and several are memorable. All are written in a clear, economical but engagingly immediate style. ``You Are Here'' is an ambivalent tale about the deceptive nature of appearances. The narrator, a waitress, contrasts the lives of her neighbors, an Amish couple who've abandoned ``their horse and buggy . . . to try their luck in Chicago'' and a wealthy doctor and his wife. A young woman also narrates ``Ozzie and Harriet,'' in which she is torn between limiting her options by staying with her boyfriend or fulfilling her ``youthful illusions'' by going to Mexico on an archeological dig. There are two technically perfect stories: ``Puccini's Applications,'' a lighthearted jape about in-fighting at a second-rate university and ``Early Snow,'' a troubling narrative that sensitively records an argument between a Vietnam vet and his wife. Many of these tales are about the painful transition from childhood to adulthood; one suspects Wanner is undergoing a transformation as a writer as well. Once she maturesand one hopes her flair for comedy will flourish along with her insight into charactershe'll be a writer to watch. (August)
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