Poetic Justice

L. A. Taylor, Author Walker & Company $16.95 (232p) ISBN 978-0-8027-5701-2
An ill-assorted group of hopeful poets meets in a Minnesota bus station on the way to a writers' workshop at the Seven Slopes resort. Immediate hostility greets one of them, Rozlynne Haddad, notorious on the arts-conference circuit as a trophy hunter of notables, the quarry this time being poet and workshop director Owen Davis-Williams. Other participants include Miriam Dubbins and Sue Falk, an unhappy pair of lesbians; Steve McCready, who is quite happy to cheat on his potter wife with Roz; ``Moose'' Moosman, an unstable Vietnam veteran who suffers from flashbacks; and Anita Soderstrom, the only one of the group with any talent. As they spend their days on writing exercises, and Doris, Davis-Williams's botanist wife, spends her time sightseeing, tragedy strikes. Anita is found stabbed to death. Then Roz falls, or is pushed, down a flight of stairs and is crippled. The summer passes with more workshops, and the investigation continues, but no arrests are made. Davis-Williams, who had been attracted to Anita, decides to publish a book of her poetry in memoriam and to write a novel about the summer. This project uncovers the truth, leading to yet another tragedy. The novel moves slowly, but Taylor (The Love of Money) deftly portrays the world of the workshops, filled with the tired and talentless hoping desperately to be discovered. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1988
Release date: 06/01/1988
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