Years from Now

Gary Glickman, Author Alfred A. Knopf $16.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-394-55513-3
An ambitious first novel that reads more like a collection of stories, Years from Now looks at Jewish family life through a series of weddings, seders, funerals and other family gatherings in which the individual is often placed at odds with the rituals and traditions he or she is obliged to uphold. That tension figures prominently in the relationship most closely outlined in the book, that of Beth and David, two former classmates who, despite their homosexuality, maintain a sporadically physical relationship and eventually have a child together. Theirs is an unlikely union that remains in obscurity throughout the narrative, buried under flat characterizations and banal dialogue. Glickman aptly conveys the brittle atmosphere of family gatherings and the tense interplay between agendas manifest and hidden that marks such occasions; but the novel never transcends its implausible premise and is further burdened by an occasional, awkward lyrical tone that obfuscates more than it enlightens. Despite these flaws, the brief final chapterwhose tone, perspective, time frame and clarity of focus separate it from all that has precededmakes a fine, surprisingly moving story, suggesting that other forms of fiction may better suit Glickman's talents. (August 17)
Reviewed on: 08/04/1987
Release date: 08/01/1987
Paperback - 263 pages - 978-0-452-26142-6
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