Lily Tuck, Author . HarperCollins $23.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-06-620942-5

Tuck (Siam; The Woman Who Walked on Water) efficiently and eloquently chronicles the lives of women who undergo both geographical and emotional displacement in these 14 short stories. The characters end up in Peru, France, Italy, Southeast Asia and various North American locales, usually in the throes of unsatisfying relationships or suffering from nostalgic regret. Tuck's globe-trotting adds more than just splashes of exotica; she employs the varied settings to underscore a sense of dislocation. Her protagonists (principally Americans) associate with the locals and negotiate foreign customs and history while reflecting on their own pasts, which frequently include failed relationships with men. In "Next of Kin," a newly married woman ruminates on the elderly man who crashed his car into the church on her wedding day, the obsession obscuring the growing rift between her and her husband. A woman goes to California to visit her former college roommate in "Horses," and her insecurities surface during a swimming outing with her old friend's lover and his daughter. Alone in Paris, in "Rue Guynemer," a woman finds that she has a more vivid image in her head of the World War I pilot for whom her street is named than of her ex-husband. Tuck's style is simple, unembellished, and mixes a range of narrative voices. Though the stories can feel underdeveloped, and a few of the plots resemble each other too closely, these are fine-boned, intelligent, meticulously observed fictions. A talented writer, Tuck honestly explores the ways in which women yearn for and seek out better lives. (Jan. 4)

Reviewed on: 12/10/2001
Release date: 01/01/2002
Open Ebook - 192 pages - 978-0-06-144252-0
Paperback - 192 pages - 978-0-06-093485-9
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 192 pages - 978-0-06-144256-8
Ebook - 192 pages - 978-0-06-174847-9
Ebook - 192 pages - 978-0-06-144257-5
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