What is It Then Between Us?: Stories

Ehud Havazelet, Author Scribner Book Company $0 (177p) ISBN 978-0-684-18919-2
Nine short stories about the spaces between people comprise the debut of this Israeli-American, a creative writing teacher at Stanford University. Writing in the spare and highly stylized language reminiscent of Raymond Carver and Alice Munro, Havazelet efficiently evokes a wide range of voices in various settings. Many of the stories have a New York backdrop that intrudes between the characters and forces definition into their faulty relationships. In ""Glass,'' an unsuccessful architectural draftsman and his dippy female roommate are witnesses to violent incidents across the airshaft. He is disturbed and fascinatedlike Jimmy Stewart in Rear Windowbut she is at first merely amused. In the title story, a drugged-out narrator slips a romantic history of New York between a fantasy existence and cold hard reality. In ``What Everyone Wants,'' an assistant editor whose job it is to write vapid jacket copy must cope with a suicidal mother and a helpless and detached father. In all of his stories, Havazelet is adept at capturing the bleakness of missed connections and destructive relationships that are hopelessly out of sync. But the perpetual failure of his characters to connect can be discouraging, and in the end readers may crave Proustian relief from the flatness and lack of texture. (May)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Hardcover - 177 pages - 978-0-02-051750-4
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