Hardware River Stories

Alyson Carol Hagy, Author Poseidon Press $18.45 (190p) ISBN 978-0-671-68111-1
In seven stories that limn the distances between wishes and realities, Hagy ( Madonna on Her Back ) creates narratives that echo with a distinctly American voice. At the same time, these fictions explore their characters' sense of place in the landscape of human relations. In the title story a man's obsessional love brings him to destruction. In ``The Field of Lost Shoes,'' a clandestine and futile meeting of former lovers at a Civil War museum and battle site becomes an encounter between the man and the woman's young son. ``Watching him run into the field with wheat up to his elbows and the beat of an imaginary drummer on his lips, I knew what cruelty was,'' muses the narrator. ``Cruelty was forgetting the delicate paper heart of a child.'' The powerful final entry is ``Kettle of Hawks,'' a tale of love and seduction and ruptured trust. Hagy has a voice that seeks the cadences and rhythms of the rural South or Midwest while maintaining an integrity and individual distinction. Thus these stories display an authenticity that goes well beyond the talented mimicry and impersonation of much first-person short fiction today. This accomplished collection should bring Hagy to the attention of those who value the art of fiction. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
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