My Life and Dr. Joyce Brothers: A Novel in Stories

Kelly Cherry, Author
Kelly Cherry, Author Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill $14.95 (221p) ISBN 978-0-945575-31-3
Reviewed on: 03/31/1990
Release date: 04/01/1990
Cherry's ( Augusta Played ) ``novel in stories'' is such a mixture of the irritating and the insightful that its appeal will be a matter of individual taste. Narrator Nina, fearing the approach of middle age, struggles to heal the scars left by an incestuous assault and makes some real progress, at the same time remaining obsessed with the last man to dump her. In the first three stories especially, Nina's stability, suggested in the title, bogs down in psychobabble as she pursues, then rues, the offerings of psychiatry. The reader's patience is rewarded in the later sections, however, as Nina stops being the slave of theories and allows herself to experience relationships more naturally. Given the weak and tangled psyche to which we are originally introduced, Nina's ultimate transformation lacks a degree of credibility, but Cherry does achieve a unique portrait. (Apr.)
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