The Fire in the Birdbath and Other Disturbances

William Allen, Author W. W. Norton & Company $13.95 (184p) ISBN 978-0-393-02249-0
Allen is 42, balding, thrice-divorced, and quite funny about these and other circumstances in his life as a Texan writer who now teaches at Ohio State University. In 21 essays from Esquire, the Atlantic and elsewhere, he writes with considerable warmth on diverse personal topics, from teenage enthusiasms (reincarnation, broom-balancing feats and mail-order writing courses) to midlife adventures (from travels in Central America to the search for a doctor for his bad back). His efforts to find ""order and meaning'' in life's small surprises, including a toaster that blows up and the flaming birdbath of the title, make this an appealing collection. Allen's books include Starkweather. January 20
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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