Goodnight Silky Sullivan

Laurie Alberts, Author University of Missouri Press $17.95 (177p) ISBN 978-0-8262-1009-8
Although the settings of Alberts's six stories vary greatly, they all share a sense of immediacy provided by her deadeye characterizations and lucid prose. Alberts, whose first novel, Tempting Fate, won the James Michener Award, creates characters who are both detached from and compelled by their surroundings. In her opening and closing stories, the author explores the fate of love between American women and Russian men. In ``Russia Is a Fish,'' the American protagonist observes of her Russian friends: ``They live underwater and I in air. When I look into the water, I envy the richness of their world, yet if I were to stay down there, I would drown... Our meeting point is only at the surface, and we must all hold our breath.'' In the title story, a daughter recalls her life with her family; the tale is illuminated by her increasingly lucid and comical observations about her father. The longest story, ``Blood Sand,'' traces the progress of a prodigal son who, seeking to assert his independence from his father, comes to realize he has remade himself in his father's image. Alberts's subtle imagination and voice make for a poignant, resonant collection. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1995
Release date: 05/01/1995
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