Cartographies

Maya Soneberg, Author, Maya Sonenberg, Author University of Pittsburgh Press $22.5 (174p) ISBN 978-0-8229-3627-5
Winner of this year's Drue Heinz Literature Prize, this collection of 10 stories heralds the emergence of a powerful new voice. Linked by variously composed definitions of location and sense of place, the stories, while distinguished by their range, share a deeply determined narrative structure. From the title story, which contrasts the account of a love affair with considerations of mapmaking, to ``Nature Morte,'' which describes the first Cubist baby (``His world is solid. He breathes in space that solidifies as it approaches. His body forms planes of space and flesh.''), Sonnenberg drives at essential truths from an astonishing variety of approaches. While her prose is so lush and dense that readers may find it difficult at times, comprehending this fluid and graceful writing is ultimately a pleasure. In ``Cartographies,'' Sonnenberg writes about the mapmakers who created the first cave painting: ``From their first scratches on the cave wall . . . they have traced lines and lived inside them.'' The youngest writer to win the Heinz Prize, Sonnenberg, 29, explores the boundaries within and without which lives are lived, and in doing so she has succeeded in putting herself on the map. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1989
Release date: 09/01/1989
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