Selected Stories from the Southern Review, 1965-1985

Lewis P. Simpson, Editor, James Olney, Editor, Donald E. Stanford, Editor Louisiana State University Press $24.95 (374p) ISBN 978-0-8071-1443-8
There are several outstanding stories among the 25 in this hefty collection. ""Detente,'' a penetrating political tale by Joyce Carol Oates, explores with feeling and delicate irony the meeting of intellectuals at an East-West cultural conference. When Antonia becomes suddenly involved with Soviet writer Vasily, language resonates as both a symbolic force and impediment, full of social and sexual implications. Politics also informs Mary Lavin's ``The Face of Hate,'' set in Belfast. An aging white workingman revisits Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia, in Nadine Gordimer's ``Abroad''; Gordimer masterfully handles Manie Swemmer's hardbitten racial attitudes, while maintaining a measure of dignity, even pity for him. Pat Carr's exquisite ``Party'' affords a brief, pointed childhood glimpse into adult vulnerability. Two fine dramas of family life are Richard Perry's ``Blues for My Father, My Mother, and Me,'' about a sophisticated black man galvanized into confronting his parents, and Anne Tyler's ``The Artificial Family,'' which deals with a shaky second marriage. Reynolds Price's ``Truth and Lies'' captures the stylized, incantatory speech rhythms of a betrayed woman. Many of the remaining entries, however, are genteel, old-fashioned stories, personal reminiscences and musings, dinosaurs of the genre without much bite. (March)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1988
Release date: 12/01/1988
Paperback - 388 pages - 978-0-8071-1490-2
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