The Wedding Cake in the Middle of the Road: 23 Variations on a Theme

Susan Stamberg, Author, George P. Garrett, Editor W. W. Norton & Company $19.95 (206p) ISBN 978-0-393-03080-8
This rewarding collection of short fiction is the product of a larky idea from writer and teacher Garrett and National Public Radio program host Stamberg. Originally presented to six writers, the challenge was to create a short story suitable for radio, incorporating the image of a wedding cake in the middle of the road. The invitation was extended to 17 other writers for the purposes of this book. The tales run from sad to funny, sentimental to cynical. Of the original six, Stuart Dybbek's ``I Never Told This to Anyone'' is a touching story about a lonely boy's friendship with an imaginary bride and groom, ``their shoes covered with frosting,'' who visit him. In ``Eternally Yours,'' Joy Williams tells of a special dumping ground for plastic wedding cakes, ``the prettiest place plastic ever made.'' A surreal image typical of his work--the figure of the groom removed from the cake by crows, dominates Ron Carlson's ``A Kind of Flying.'' Judith Guest provides a whimsical story, Ann Beattie an intriguingly offbeat tale and Garrett a witty one. Other contributors include Josephine Humphreys, David Leavitt, Richard Bausch, Mary Lee Settle and Bharati Mukherjee. Although some of the tales are slight, the reader will enjoy the anticipation of encountering the central image in diverse contexts. (Jan . )
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
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