The Poems of B. R. Whiting

B. R. Whiting, Author
B. R. Whiting, Author Sheep Meadow Press $12.95 (105p) ISBN 978-1-878818-08-9
Reviewed on: 12/02/1991
Release date: 12/01/1991
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The stories in Wexler's first collection are about outsiders, people who do not conform to the ways of the numbingly conservative, spiritually bereft society in which they live, eventually paying for their outcast status with some or all of their sanity. In ``Look in on Your Sister,'' the narrator, obsessed with the well-being of his sister--who is unable to function within the confines of their family's bourgeois vision--becomes inextricably involved in her psychotic episodes. The author, a septuagenarian, also examines society's casting off of its older members and their resulting isolation. In ``Enlightenment,'' Steve, a widower, lives in a rotting tenement, forgotten by all but one of his children, Josh, himself a sort of New Age bohemian wastrel. When Josh comes to visit, he is pushed away by his father, who, deprived of love for so long, cannot bear to be close to anyone. Wexler is a fine writer, with a way of perceiving that is startlingly wise and unmercifully depressing, most of his characters scraping after whatever shred of happiness they can find. The rest, like the protagonist in the title story, give up the struggle before it even begins, becoming freaks who are laughed at and ridiculed. (May)
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