Shadow Bands: Stories

Jeanne Schinto, Author Ontario Review Press $9.95 (164p) ISBN 978-0-86538-065-3
The disenfranchised and the disaffected populate the 12 stories of this debut collection: an adolescent girl with a history of spotty theft, a priest assaulted by one of his parishioners. Schinto experiments with a range of voices but is only occasionally successful. The child narrator of ""Caddies' Day,"" who recounts having been molested on a golf course, sounds falsely naive and unconvincing. And would someone in her early teens judge a rock band's concert, ""I liked better the renditions of their songs that they had recorded,"" as in ""The Friendships of Girls Unpopular Together""? At times Schinto forces her ironies: in ""The Original Dog,"" when a bigoted white man's pedigreed dogs run after a stray, it is a disdained black neighbor who retrieves themand who calls them ""goddamn little mutts."" At her best, however, Schinto allows ambiguities: ""From a Juror's Notebook"" is an honest exposition of a white woman's decision to find a black defendant guilty of rape. Despite flaws, this work shows the author's promise. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/03/1988
Release date: 11/01/1988
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