Leaving Brooklyn

Lynne Sharon Schwartz, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $15.95 (146p) ISBN 978-0-395-51091-9
Not as complex or inventive as Disturbances in the Field , this slim, nostalgic novel reincarnates, from a contemporary adult narrator's perspective, post-WW II Brooklyn, where conformity, sensible relationships and coherence wage an age-old battle against passion and creativity. Legally blind in one eye, 15-year-old Audrey fancies that her wandering eye, ``restless, bored with the banality of what is presented . . . escapes to the private darkness beneath the lid, with the wild dancing colors.'' Like Audrey, Schwartz possesses a secret vision that allows her to pursue a ``rampant longing to peer beneath the surfaces of things'' and locate the mythology at the core of the quotidian. These trademark talents, revealed through lyric, silver-tongued prose, compensate here for the ubiquitous eye analogies, wobbly plot contrivances (contact-lens novice Audrey admits ``a horror of inserting foreign objects into my body'' and several pages later plunges into a liaison with ``the eye doctor'') and a device--more artificial appendage than daring technique--that self-consciously merges memory and revision, fiction and autobiography. Author tour. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1989
Release date: 04/01/1989
Paperback - 96 pages - 978-0-14-013197-0
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