Prize Stories 1986: The O. Henry Awards

William Miller Abrahams, Editor Doubleday Books $17.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-385-23155-8
The tellers of these 19 tales constitute a pantheon of rising or already established young writers, including first-prize winner Alice Walker, with ""Kindred Spirits,'' a vignette about a young black woman returning home after divorcing her white husband, and special-award winner Joyce Carol Oates, whose ``Master Race'' recounts in spare and elegant prose the sexual assault in Germany of a youngish American academic by a black G.I. In many ways more compelling, however, are Bobbie Ann Mason's ``Big Bertha Stories,'' a blinding insight into the mind of a man hounded by memories of Vietnam; John L'Heureux's ``The Comedian,'' a metaphysical tour de force about a standup comic who becomes pregnant with a baby whose blithe in utero singing drowns out the arguments for abortion; Stephanie Vaughn's ``Kid MacArthur,'' a boy growing up in an army family, learning to use guns before pencils, reluctantly going off to war and returning a militant vegetarian, shrinking from any violation of flesh. These and several other stories capture and involve the reader: they are written with grace, authority and bitter knowledge, and despite their verbal brevity cast a long shadow that is deeply etched and hard to dispel. BOMC selection. (April)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1986
Release date: 04/01/1986
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4177-1069-0
Paperback - 292 pages - 978-0-385-23156-5
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