Collaborators

Janet Kauffman, Author Alfred A. Knopf $13.95 (129p) ISBN 978-0-394-55080-0
Against a landscape composed of and by women, men hardly register in this thin, elegant novel by the author of Places in the World a Woman Could Walk. Dovie (formally named Andrea Doria) listens closely to her Mennonite mother, who seems to carelessly transcend the conventions that circumscribe their lives, substituting her own strict rhythm and a personal catechism that she imparts to her willing pupil. As a child, Dovie believes her mother fiercely, uncritically absorbing her views on sexuality, God and men, while the farmwork of the long tobacco season unfolds around them. It's only in retrospect that she concludes, ""My mother lied to me about everything . . . She crooned and ranted and cooked up powerful storms of lies that held like uncalled-for weather over my childhood.'' Yet in her turn, betrayed by the stroke that steals her mother's memory and then her life, Dovie conspires to pass on the lessons she learned to her own daughter. Although the novel cannot transcend its fragmented structure, those who savor rich cadences and the unexpected, beautifully turned phrase will find much to satisfy the senses. (March 12)
Reviewed on: 02/01/1986
Release date: 02/01/1986
Paperback - 129 pages - 978-0-14-009342-1
Paperback - 129 pages - 978-1-55597-185-4
Open Ebook - 152 pages - 978-1-941531-30-3
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