Granta Forty: The Womanizer; Richard Ford: Richard Ford

Bill Buford, Editor Penguin Books $9.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-14-014054-5
The writing and photography in this edition express both emotion and intellect. Better yet, the works intersect with one another in surprising ways. Paul Theroux's imaginary memoir shows how he continues to consider himself an outsider in London even as he enters tighter and tighter circles of privilege, thanks to a titled woman with more power than he knows. Richard Rayner takes the inverse approach: as an Englishman observing the aftermath of the recent Los Angeles riots, he addresses not only the destruction around him but the racism and other social wreckage inside himself. Nadine Gordimer's story of out-of-work men and women who stake a claim on a college campus and eventually become indistinguishable from several of the professors there attacks questions about identity and belonging from a different angle. David Goldblatt's photographs of a stark South African valley in the late '60s convey another kind of connection to land and property. The only disappointment is Richard Ford's unconvincing title story about an American in Paris who falls for a Frenchwoman, which is merely serviceable in comparison to the richer work that comes after it. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 11/02/1992
Release date: 11/01/1992
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