Invisible Borders

Polly Koch, Author Simon & Schuster $18.45 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-72477-1
As complicated in narrative structure as a novel by Donald Barthelme, a writer with whom Koch has studied, this first novel is a portrait of a woman, Elise, and her circle. Set partly in Elise's 1950s childhood in a small town, partly in the 1980s, and partly in the year 2015, the narrative offers a baroque frieze of past and future intertwined in the explication of Elise's life. Her great-grandfather was a three-time murderer; the men in her life are mostly drug-dealing untrustables; most of the women in the cast of characters who now live together in a commune of sorts, Elise included, have sexual relationships with one another. How these elements fit together is perhaps clearer to the author than to the reader. However impressive in its sweep and depth of poetic language, the novel's central flaw is its lack of accessibility. Koch is a writer who is better at transmitting an inchoatehave added these words to help clarify sense of significance is not what the reviewer is saying.I have restored original than at making the significant easily understood. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1991
Release date: 03/01/1991
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