Birth and Death of the Miracle Man: 2a Collection of Short Stories

Albert Wendt, Author Viking Books $18.95 (176p) ISBN 978-0-670-80676-8
These 12 short stories set in Samoa seem at first like fables of a simpler life, yet taken together they prove to be thought-provoking modernistic parables. The title narrative probes one villager's existential dilemma: Fiasola Ta'ase, a schoolteacher, feels that his life has lost meaning until he slays the ""miracle man'' growing inside him. In ``Prospecting,'' the search for gold leads to a burial ground and, oddly, to a new kind of richness and fertility. Several of these tales are entertaining character studies which easily cross cultural lines, as in ``A Talent,'' about a man whose only skill is thievery. Wendt (Leaves of the Banyan Tree moves easily among his characters, evoking a young girl's curiosity and intellectual acuity as vividly as an older man's feelings upon the death of his father. And in all of them, the reader unfamiliar with Polynesian customs will be able to appreciate the beauty of the land, its people, and its collective spirit. (July 18)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1986
Release date: 07/01/1986
Paperback - 175 pages - 978-0-14-008109-1
Paperback - 176 pages - 978-0-8248-1822-7
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