Former Virgin

Cris Mazza, Author
Cris Mazza, Author F2c $11.95 (146p) ISBN 978-1-57366-033-4
Reviewed on: 12/30/1996
Release date: 09/01/1997
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Although not every story in this sly collection hits its mark, they all carry Mazza's (How to Leave a Country) trademark post-feminist, girlish bite as she trashes one coming-of-age cliche after another. The eavesdropping narrator of ""The Cram-It-In Method"" observes (often in wedding-invitation font) as her college-age roommate meets an ROTC innocent, initiates him sexually and then becomes engaged to him--all the while complaining to her bridesmaids about his performance in bed. In ""The Career,"" lonely 18-year-old Dolly sleeps with a manipulative egotist, befriends his wife and child and eventually realizes the emptiness of the relationship she had treasured. The tricky ""Dog & Girlfriend"" confounds the two title characters constantly with paragraphs that slip without antecedents from statements like ""She is trained to stay off the bed"" to ""She thinks she's pregnant again"": a gimmick, but Mazza makes it pay off. Although her various lovers start to seem familiarly zany, that's probably part of the point. In the title story, the narrator plaintively apostrophizes her ex-boyfriend: ""If I had mentioned you to Roger, I would've had to tell him that you and I weren't the same as him and me."" Mazza seems to share this nagging fear that our histories do repeat themselves--almost every time as farce. (Sept.)
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