Escapes: Stories

Joy Williams, Author Atlantic Monthly Press $18.95 (168p) ISBN 978-0-87113-332-8
Accomplished novelist ( Breaking and Entering ) and short-story teller ( Taking Care ) Williams captures in these 12 observant tales--many about sickness, lies and death--the subtle but stunning moments of recognition and/or adjustment that occur during precarious dealings between lovers or spouses, parents and offspring. In the title story, Lizzie and her alcoholic mother cling to the illusion of miraculous recovery as they drive to a tawdry magic show. Teenaged Molly in ``The Skater'' invents a friend for her dead sister Martha--a boy whose parents endowed a school rink in his memory. In ``White,'' Joan and Bliss, having lost two infants, find passion has turned to fear; at their garden party a guest notes that half the flowers are white, a color ``often used to make otherwise unacceptable things acceptable.'' ``The Route'' maps a couple's waning love along a drive from New York to Key West. In ``Health,'' glowing Pammy, infected with TB, attends a tanning salon where she feels like Snow White ``lying in her glass coffin''. Several of these tales have been included in prize collections; all of them exhibit the qualities of a skillfully cut gem: shapely, luminous, multifaceted. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
Genre: Fiction
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