A Long Time Dying

Olga Masters, Author W. W. Norton & Company $18.95 (330p) ISBN 978-0-393-02688-7
High art, in which, as Yeats ordained, the stitching and unstitching never show, transforms the do-nothing town of Cobargo, New South Wales, into a neighborhood alive with the dreams and disappointments of a handful of mostly poor farmers, who invite the reader into the parlor to share the gossip. Although these are short stories (posthumously published in the U.S.) by the prize-winning author of The Home Girls , the characters intermingle: Mary Jussep--whose mother, in ``Scones Every Day,'' says, ``I feel crook'' and dies--reappears in ``Stan and Mary, Mary and Stan,'' pursued on horseback by young Stan Rossmore, scion of Cobargo's stuffy and sole rich family. ``The Wedding'' recounts their bumpy road toward matrimony, the neighbors suspiciously ``darting their eyes at Mary's waist'' while wishing their daughters could snare a Rossmore. In each story, one visits familiar people, joins in conversations and hears many points of view, savoring ``the richness of choice'' offered to readers in Masters's many-layered, resonant volume. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/30/1989
Release date: 05/01/1989
Paperback - 978-1-86340-098-5
Hardcover - 330 pages - 978-0-7022-1888-0
Hardcover - 978-0-947072-23-0
Paperback - 344 pages - 978-0-393-33205-6
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