Athletes and Artists: Stories

Agnes Rossi, Author New York University Press $27.5 (81p) ISBN 978-0-8147-7400-7
Winner of the 1986 NYU Creative Writers Competition, Rossi's lively collection of 10 short stories introduces an assortment of offbeat characters meandering through life. Faced with realities that don't match their expectations, they tend to stumble along the path of least resistance, accepting what comes their way with wry humor. In ""Winter Rental, '' a young woman takes an inexpensive beach apartment for the winter, planning, in a vague way, to write and think ``writerly thoughts.'' Instead, she passes her time fantasizing about the couple downstairs. ``Pollyanna'' tells of a woman who is stymied by the need to choose a Christmas present for a hated boss, and ``Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner'' concerns a couple with nothing in common but their appetities. There are no big issues at stake in these stories. It is the small things, the touching eccentricities, that throw Rossi's characters off balance. Her clear, restrained prose and spare, vernacular dialogue infuse the slim episodes with the quality of contemporary life. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1987
Release date: 06/01/1987
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