Vito Loves Geraldine

Janice Eidus, Author City Lights Books $7.95 (169p) ISBN 978-0-87286-247-0
Spoofing generic notions of romance and family, Eidus's ( Faithful Rebecca ) authoritative short fiction is marked by a sly marriage of fantasy and reality. Readers are most effectively lured into the author's special twilight zones by those stories told in the first person. Her high school sweetheart cuts a hit record and splits for the West Coast, and the sanguine heroine of the O. Henry-winning title story waits patiently for his return. Years pass, and Geraldine still teases her hair and dresses up in her old prom dress to dance and sing in front of the mirror, stuck firmly in the '50s, when she was the most popular girl in her Bronx crowd. The honeymoon is over when his sweet, mousey wife, a word processor, becomes a performance artist, but the staid narrator of ``Vanna'' learns he can keep the marriage afloat by lusting after her dominatrix alter ego. ``The Country in Maura'' features an academic whose subject of research is a Dolly Parton clone. Some tales are fragments (a clogged toilet that needs to be snaked catapults Eve into leaving Adam in ``A Comb and a Snake'') or invent less convincing voices, such as ``Safe,'' which tracks a couple's private thoughts about sleeping together in the age of AIDS. ( June)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/2001
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