Obscene Gestures for Women

Janet Kauffman, Author Alfred A. Knopf $16.95 (109p) ISBN 978-0-394-57411-0
The best of these 15 very short stories by the author of Places in the World a Woman Could Walk are prose poems. Observed by one man, a flock of women gathers in a stubble field, a silent force waiting to speak. A one-legged woman invents a board game where players roll dice and spin an arrow at random words, hoping to form sentences. In the least successful stories, connections are forced (a woman is nominated, no one says for what, so another responds by gutting chickens) and characters talk in literary prose without benefit of quotation marks, as if speech, objects, people, actions, grass, sky and trees are seamless. Ultimately, the lack of discernable plots or deeply realized characters is a handicap the stories cannot surmount. Other than a few instants of crystallized perception, very little occurs here, and the sameness of tone becomes wearisome. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1989
Release date: 09/01/1989
Paperback - 109 pages - 978-0-679-73055-2
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