Wind Stories: Stories

Leigh Allison Wilson, Author William Morrow & Company $17.95 (253p) ISBN 978-0-688-08111-9
Wilson's short fiction, stories of loneliness, need and the inevitability of disappointment or pain, reflect the lives of lower-middle-class people alienated from their roots. The five stories and one novella in this collection are not in themselves representatives of the listless, anomie-centered school of contemporary writing, however; Wilson has a strong voice, a surprising imagination and intriguing characters who act rather than reflect, though the consequences may be disquieting. Her heroines all live in a small upstate New York townits landscape and atmosphere skillfully portrayedbut some of them hail from the South. The narrator of ``Masse'' is a woman who drives a UPS truck during the day and plays pool at night. Figuring angles and maintaining precise, fanatical control is her way of dealing with life, but when she lets emotion surface during a pool game, she loses her sense of herself. Harriet, the narrator of the title novella, looks back on an incident that happened when she was 15, when the wind blew storm and rain, metaphors for her family's disintegration. If sometimes the narrators' voices are too portentous, the stories, all distinguished by an an elegiac tone, are gracefully expressed and emotionally satisfying. Wilson ( From the Bottom Up ) is an accomplished writer whose compassion for her characters makes them come alive. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/01/1989
Release date: 02/01/1989
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