The Woman Who Escaped from Shame

Toby Olson, Author Random House (NY) $16.95 (324p) ISBN 978-0-394-54715-2
Three ex-sailors take three bordello girls to Tijuana, and begin telling stories. Within this framework emerges the bizarre adventure of Paul Cords, who falls deeply in love with Mary Grace, a gentle prostitute. When Paul happens on a clutch of sadistic porn filmmakers exploiting a pair of rare miniature horses in their act, he saves and heals the injured mare. Paul, Mary Grace and the little horsethe most beguiling and mysterious of creaturesthen embark on an idyll that is brutally interrupted when the horses's tormentors find the three. Olson's many-layered narrative continually shades off into legend about the origins and significance of the diminutive equine breed. As tales within tales unfold, there is a haunting abundance of mirroring and deja vu. At last the horse guides Paul to a stunning array of revelations about his identity. Olson has published 14 books of poetry; his third novel, Seaview, won a PEN/Faulkner award. This unusual and engrossing work creates its air of wonder with brilliance and control. (May 12)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1986
Release date: 04/01/1986
Hardcover - 324 pages - 978-0-02-023231-5
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