Rosalind

Myra Goldberg, Author
Myra Goldberg, Author Zoland Books $22.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-944072-59-2
Reviewed on: 03/04/1996
Release date: 03/01/1996
Paperback - 128 pages - 978-0-944072-60-8
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The difficulty of making human connections and the widening gap between money and value created by rampant consumerism are two of the themes Goldberg mines in her multifaceted gem of a second book (after the acclaimed short-story collection Whistling). When 37-year-old, generally plump, periodically monstrous Rosalind Oliner Baumbach Twist, mother and psychotherapist, returns home following cardiac bypass surgery, she engages in endlessly empty consumption, stuffing herself with trash mags and celebrity bios, dope and cigarettes, daytime TV and Mallomars while refusing to focus on the disease within. In response, her second husband, daughters and siblings, taking rotating turns on narrative center stage, reveal myriad methods of coping with Ros's (and the world's) ""arrogance of self-destruction."" Deciding that they can no longer watch Ros's ""will for will-less death,"" husband Henry banishes her. Before long, however (with a nod toward Shakespeare's As You Like It), everyone else moves back toward Ros, assembling with her in the Adirondacks for an Elysian denouement. Despite a relatively contemporary setting (mostly early 1980s suburban Massachusetts), this novel harkens back in tone to a less hurried kind of storytelling. Goldberg casts a keenly anthropological eye on the Reagan era and zeros in on kernels of truth cloaked in denial. Her dialogue can get murky, but that's a minor quibble about an unusually resonant and intelligent novel. (Apr.)
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