Scenes from the Homefront

Sara Vogan, Author University of Illinois Press $14.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-252-01430-7
In these 11 stories, the author of In Shelly's Leg displays a stunning range of voice. She writes of women as daughters, mothers and lovers, women whose lovers are gone, children are lost, or whose fathers were never found. The title story and another, ""The Strength of Steel,'' describe the mythic powers ascribed to fathers, regardless of how inadequate they may be to the task. Mothers are more loving but no less ineffective, the love they offer strangled in fantasies, difficult for a child to grasp. In ``Miss Buick of 1942,'' a mother steps out of the dreamworld of her past glory only when her daughter runs away. The strange, amputee mother in ``Mozart in the Afternoon'' gives her young daughter gin and tonics, a startling method for cooling off on a hot summer's day, and, perhaps, a wisdom to last a lifetime. In ``Hearts of a Shark,'' old tales and facts about sharks are considered by a marine biologist as she witnesses a shark being killed and later as she makes desperate love with one man while longing for another. The shark lore, her sorrow, the killing and the cold combine to delineate a pain that could not otherwise be told. These are raw and powerful stories carefully shaped to deliver maximum punch. (September 18)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1987
Release date: 06/01/1987
Paperback - 978-0-553-34751-7
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