The Fireman's Wife and Other Stories

Richard Bausch, Author Linden Press $18.45 (219p) ISBN 978-0-671-66137-3
In these 10 stories, some of which first appeared in the New Yorker , Esquire and the Atlantic Monthly , Bausch ( Mr. Field's Daughter ) displays a powerful and consistent talent. The title story and its sequel, ``Consolation,'' examine the lives of two firemen and their wives, before and after tragedy. ``Luck'' is narrated by the son of an alcoholic housepainter. When his father disappears on another bender, leaving him to finish a big job, he is astonished to discover that the rich man who had hired them considers him the lucky one. In the final tale, ``Letter to the Lady of the House,'' Bausch has created something exquisite in the form of a letter from a man of 70 to his wife of nearly 50 years. Written in the night, after ``another of those long, silent evenings after an argument (remember?) over pepper,'' the letter is a profound declaration of love and understanding. Inventing remarkable, ordinary folks whose lives seize our attention, Bausch tells graceful, shapely stories, impressive in their sweep, deeply moving, insightful and witty. Two of these stories have been chosen for Best American Short Stories 1990. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-393-30790-0
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