Behind the Waterfall

Chinatsu Nakayama, Author Atheneum Books $17.95 (213p) ISBN 978-0-689-12099-2
Much in these three novellas, the first of Nakayama's work to appear in English, seems to derive from the Tokyo-based author's experiences as a stage and TV actress. ``Star Time,'' for example, looks at the mental life of an 11-year-old girl determined to make acting her profession. Blighted childhood is a favorite theme, yet elements of the traditional success story are what hold the reader's attention; Nakayama consistently renders characters as highly capable professionals. Her intentions are not foolproof: ``The Sound of Wings'' opens as a furtive and painful tale of love and betrayal but in denouement turns to the mechanical plotting of pulp detective fiction. Style is also problematic, at least in Harcourt's translation. Still, Nakayama enjoys considerable control over point of view and shows a gift for assembling rich and telling details, particularly in the complex ``Good Afternoon, Ladies,'' about the production of an exploitative TV talk show. (May)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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