Night of the Weeping Women

Lawrence Naumoff, Author Atlantic Monthly Press $0 (239p) ISBN 978-0-87113-187-4
In this provocative novel, Naumoff inexorably draws the reader into his characters' world, a world of families with ties that go beyond love, or even hatred. Sally and Robert Zilman, a young married couple, at first seem the only ``normal'' people in the book. Sally's parents, Ervin and Margaret Neal, exist only to torment each other, with Sally in the middle trying to make peace. Robert's parents never forgave him for marrying a gentile, and he fights with them during each annual visit. The plot is almost beside the point here; what's really important are the dynamics of the characters' relationships, and what Naumoff is saying, by extension, about husbands and wives, parents and children. He excels at getting to the core of each character and analyzing why they behave the way they do, from Sally's premarital promiscuity, to Robert's and Ervin's need to believe in her ``purity,'' to Margaret's inability to see that her marriage has shattered. All this could be grim and graceless in another writer's hands, but Naumoff has imbued even the bleakest passages with a sardonic humor, and has, in addition, masterfully evoked the eastern North Carolina setting. Two decades ago, Naumoff won a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship and other high awards; then he stopped writing for 14 years. This novel was worth waiting for. (June)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-15-600364-3
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-8041-0488-3
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