Bodies of Water

Michelle Cliff, Author Dutton Books $17.95 (155p) ISBN 978-0-525-24864-4
Though many of the 10 stories in this collection from the author of Telephone to Heaven are inspired by historical events, such as the Holocaust or the civil rights movement, they quickly become intricate and lyrical explorations of inner geography. One, ``Columba,'' reflects the Jamaica-born author's roots; the rest are set in America as perceived by newcomers. We see this most poignantly in ``Election Day 1984,'' in which a ``spinster woman'' explains to a new immigrant her decision to rescue a child and then give him away--for his own good. ``Screen Memory'' illuminates a black entertainer's loss of the feeling of home. Best is the title story, a many-layered threnody expressed in an old woman's reaching out to a brother from whom she was separated. Strong and spare, yet not simple, the stories are testaments to the courage of ordinary people who cope with--and often transcend--the circumstances of their lives. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/05/1990
Release date: 06/01/1990
Mass Market Paperbound - 160 pages - 978-0-452-27375-7
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