New Stories by Southern Women

Mary E. Gibson, Editor University of South Carolina Press $16.95 (291p) ISBN 978-0-87249-634-7
The Southern literary imagination courts unusual breadth in this collection, taking in wry minimalism (Bobbie Ann Mason), incantatory prose poetry (Jayne Anne Phillips), modern-day lesbian love (Shirley Ann Grau) and timeless backwoods poverty (Mary Hood), while conveying the profound sense of place and romantic intensity traditional to the South. Among the best of 21 stories (14 have been anthologized previously) are Alice Adams's ``Return Trips,'' set in Yugoslavia and Hilton (a small Southern town), and telling of the compromises aging demands; Ellen Gilchrist's ``Music,'' concerning a 14-year-old ``Miss Smart-alecky Movie Star'' who runs amok in Clay County, Ky.; and ``Indian Summer'' by Elizabeth Spencer, about seemingly irreparable family feuding (``To start really conversing with a parent for the first time must be as strange an experience as falling in love''). Gibson ( History and the Prism of Art: Browning's Poetic Experiment ) has chosen wisely in ranging widely, avoiding provincialism in a regional guise. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/06/1989
Release date: 07/01/1989
Hardcover - 291 pages - 978-0-87249-633-0
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