Labor for Love: Stories

Sandy Huss, Author University of Missouri Press $19.95 (109p) ISBN 978-0-8262-0816-3
Buzz, the confused young woman featured in the title story of this diverse debut collection, leaves home to work on a tobacco farm because ``she wanted a break from wanting. She thought she could substitute labor for love.'' Like Buzz, the other characters in these stories flounder in a hard and unforgiving world. In ``Barrier Methods,'' a graduate student moving out of her barricaded apartment in a crime-riddled neighborhood concocts an elaborate potion in order to purify her new home. The lives of the bus passengers in ``Coupon for Blood'' (a Pushcart Prize winner) briefly intersect, but ultimately each is isolated in pain. Huss has a wonderful eye for images. (an an chorwoman's ``blonde hair poufed out at the sides so she looked like a cocker spaniel''). She also delights in testing the limits of the traditional short story. ``Three Gold Chains,'' the most unconventional tale in the bunch, draws parallels between sadomasochism and the domination-submission relationship that exists between writer and reader. Huss can be a demanding literary ``dominatrix,'' but her experimental tales are worth the effort. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
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