Also Rising

W. Joe Innis, Author
W. Joe Innis, Author Eakin Press $22.95 (253p) ISBN 978-1-57168-196-6
Reviewed on: 11/30/1998
Release date: 12/01/1998
Paperback - 268 pages - 978-0-595-15200-1
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""A beautiful woman, two courageous matadors and a brave bull. Mano-a-mano. Think of the weighty implications."" A pivotal bullfight resolves the romantic triangle in Innis's unabashedly Papa-esque second novel (after In Pursuit of the Awa Maru), which channels Hemingway's machismo through the life of a disaffected expatriate artist in the 1970s. Isaac Shelderval is a casualty of Warholian postmodernism, a traditional painter who elects to teach in the small town of San Miguel, Mexico, after his work becomes unsalable and his wife leaves him to pursue her career as a pop singer. The school changes Isaac's initial plans by placing him in charge of the sculpture department. His peace of mind is further disturbed by guest artist and lecturer Heinrich Guerber, who arrives with his stunning girlfriend, Memori, in tow. Isaac soon finds himself competing with Heinrich for Memori's attention when a local bull breeder arranges to teach both artists the rudiments of bullfighting. The chapters preceding the climactic bullfight are slowed by Isaac's relentlessly jaded perspective, but Innis explores a variety of issues, including the possibility of mixing love and art, as the romantic triangle comes to a point. His balanced yet stirring description of the bullfight becomes the subtext for his sensitive depiction of the life of a dedicated artist. (Jan.)
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