In the Music Library

Ellen Hunnicutt, Author University of Pittsburgh Press $22.5 (160p) ISBN 978-0-8229-3567-4
Winner of this year's Drue Heinz Literature Prize for short fiction, this collection of 10 short stories and one novella presents a variety of introspective characters, most of whom have suffered deep losses. A unifying theme in the stories is the way in which past adversities intrude upon the present. In ""All Kinds of Flowers,'' a hostess entertains a German woman and is disturbed by memories of Nazi soldiers occupying her native Holland. ``At St. Theresa's College for Women'' introduces a music teacher who, having experienced five miscarriages, sometimes fantasizes about kidnapping her young students. Memories can be ancestral as well as personal: the black cellist who narrates ``In the Music Library'' tries to summon up rhythm through her residues of racial memory. Hunnicutt, author of the well-received Suite for Calliope, is herself a musician. Her evocations of the sounds and tensions of the rehearsal hall are especially vivid and she has wisely placed many of her characters in a musical milieu, adding strength to this fine collection. (September 30)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1987
Release date: 09/01/1987
Paperback - 978-0-88001-210-2
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