Little Ignorance

Penelope Scambly Schott, Author Random House Value Publishing $1.99 (232p) ISBN 978-0-517-56009-9
Comparable more to musical than to literary forms, this first novel resembles a tone poem: its whispering minor-key passages rush suddenly into sexual ecstasy and return to, vary and enlarge upon the agonizing theme of death. Vanessa is the daughter of beautiful, crazed poet, Christina Wing, who is killed in an automobile accident. Although this tragedy takes place in the last pages, it is presaged by all that goes before, adding urgency to Maso's depiction of Christina, whose 25-year lesbian love affair in no way altered or diminished the often passionate, always gratifying course of her marriage. Maso also makes it clear that Vanessa, too, is as erotically moved by women as by men. This is a restless book, inveighing against corporate power that gets away with murder, sketching brilliant pictures of farm life and lost customs, summoning the frustration that culminates in a strapped arm and heroin in the vein. Yet all these vignettes of anger and fear and searching are in the end the author's lyric expression of love. (June 15)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1986
Release date: 05/01/1986
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