Children in the Woods CL

Frederick Busch, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $21.95 (338p) ISBN 978-0-395-64724-0
Busch's magical, moving stories cut to the bone, revealing concealed fears, pains and hopes as he surveys the wreckage of fractured families, embattled marriages, ruptured lives. He proffers no neat endings, no assurances. A country doctor whose dog is stolen by a demented marijuana farmer finds himself in the middle of a drug bust (``The Page''). An enormously overweight man who discovers acceptance in the arms of his weekend lover must deal with her violent estranged husband (``The Trouble with Being Food''). Also a novelist ( Long Way from Home ), Busch exploits plot devices brilliantly, as in ``Bring Your Friends to the Zoo,'' in which the contrast between the impersonality of the London Zoo and the heated break-up of an American and his married English lover create tension. Love of another sort fuels ``Folk Tales,'' about a New York psychoanalyst who finds in his deceased mother's safety deposit box a letter he had written as an eight-year-old to Albert Einstein, along with the famed physicist's reply. In these 23 stories from the last two decades, the winner of the 1991 PEN/Malamud award for short fiction shows himself to be a master at exploring the human predicament. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/31/1994
Release date: 02/01/1994
Genre: Fiction
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