Wild America: Stories

Jayne Loader, Author Grove/Atlantic $17.95 (225p) ISBN 978-0-8021-1106-7
Even in ``Ken Kesey Day,'' the best of the 11 stories in this collection by the author of Between Pictures , Loader tends to patronize her characters, mainly victimized women and despicable men. That story, about a young woman who survived the flower-child stage when many of her peers did not, succeeds because the author displays compassion. For the most part, however, these tales skim tabloid events of the '70s and '80s: sexploitation in the slick, run-on sentences of ``True Confessions,'' sexual abuse of children in ``Saturday in the Barn,'' inner city crime in the title story, and the AIDs issue in ``Kismet.'' Defined by what happens to them, not by who they are, Loader's characters pall quickly. Influenced superficially by Patricia Highsmith (invoked specifically in one of the stories), Loader has produced a repellent chronicle of shlock relieved by an occasional clever touch. (May)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-8041-0644-3
Hardcover - 978-0-517-11031-7
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