Woman in a Lampshade

Elizabeth Jolley, Author Penguin Books $6.95 (229p) ISBN 978-0-14-008418-4
In this collection of short stories, as in her other work (Mr Scobie's Riddle, Milk and Honey, Australian writer Jolley presents characters who are displacedeither from their native countries or from the prosperity that never came their way. The domestics, door-to-door salesmen, immigrants, farmers and housewives who people this book may lead lives of quiet desperation, but theyare not touched by moments of grace.In ""Pear Tree Dance,'' the last raysof sun reach the drab rented room of a gossipy woman known as ``the Newspaper of Claremont Street,'' or, for short, ``Weekly'': ``Even the old linoleum could have a sudden richness at this time of evening. It was like the quick lighting up of a plain girl's face when she smiles because of some unexpected happiness.'' A biographical note states that the author ``worked as a nurse, a door-to-door salesperson and as a flying domestic.'' Jolley's prose confirms her as a writer who lives in the everyday world and soars above it. (September)
Reviewed on: 10/28/1986
Release date: 11/01/1986
Genre: Fiction
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