Jolley: Stories

Elizabeth Jolley, Author Viking Books $17.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-670-82113-6
First published in the author's native Australia, these selections consist of two parts, ""Five Acre Virgin'' and ``The Travelling Entertainer.'' In the first, 11 stories reveal the bases of Jolley's memorable novel, The Newspaper of Claremont Street. Recalling the characters' early life in the country, the narrator describes her childhood with her mother and older brother, a petty thief, capturing them in poignant but raffishly comic situations. The 10 entries in the second section illuminate the plight of loners in big cities. ``Winter Nelis'' concerns self-alienated Leonora, roused from her lethargy when she sees her young neighbor Mrs. Banks in tears, in her distress dropping a bag of russet pears called Nelis. Subtle allusions to Leonora's past seem to explain the curiosity that drives her to find out why Mrs. Banks was weeping. Jolley appends ``A Child Went Forth,'' an account of her growth as a writer in which one discovers, as she has, the recurrent theme of exile in her works. The author also trusts readers to look beneath the surface for profound meanings in stories whose ambiguities and implications stir the imagination. (April)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1988
Release date: 04/01/1988
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-14-008581-5
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