Prize Stories 1992

William Miller Abrahams, Author Doubleday Books $25 (0p) ISBN 978-0-385-42191-1
These generally accomplished stories cannily convey modern sensibilities and anxieties. Perri Klass's hero, a writer in his late 40s, has a little trouble adjusting to his new, happy role as husband, father and stepfather, while Ann Packer's heroine, a single, 34-year-old advertising copywriter and survivor of a string of bad relationships, dreams about having a baby but can't think about having a husband. In a tale by Lucy Honig, students learning English as a second language come from various backgrounds but share a history of political oppression; the protagonists in a story by Mary Michael Wagner are paramedics who deal with heroin addicts, AIDS and burn victims as well as with their confusing feelings of love for each other; Kate Braverman depicts a recovering addict who, entranced by a man she meets at an AA session, is turned on again to cigarettes, booze and life on the edge. The two jewels in this collection are firmly grounded in the present but have a timeless quality: Tom McNeal protrays a hardworking, hard-playing farmer whose sense of self is destroyed when he learns that his mother abandoned him as a baby; and Cynthia Ozick limns a professional woman living in Manhattan who in her 50s decides to model her life after George Eliot's and looks for a George Henry Lewes to fulfill her. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/02/1992
Release date: 03/01/1992
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 396 pages - 978-0-385-42192-8
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