Three Blind Mice: Two Short Novels

Carol Hebald, Author Unicorn Press (CA) $15.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-87775-215-8
In Clara Kleinschmidt , the first of the two novellas combined in Hebald's debut, self-exploration--disjointed, dreamlike, contradictory--is itself explored. Elderly Clara, lonely, poor and a confessed liar, spins an impossible yarn related in puns and deliberate cliches and drawing on absurdist philosophy. After success as an actress in Yiddish theater, she abandons her career to get a Ph.D. But she is chiefly occupied by her lovers, from Thomashefsky to Professor Albert Gootman to Malachy Maloney, her mailman. After Clara's half-mad imaginings, the Three Blind Mice --Henry, his daughter Elise and the seductive Mada--appear to have more purpose. Widowed Henry, a poet whose parents were killed in the Holocaust, is obsessed by his daughter; his love drives her into a boring marriage. Eventually, the wanton Mada helps Elise break free of her bondage. The intensity of the narrators' high-pitched emotions sometimes makes these stories difficult to read, but Hebald's attempt to articulate primal longings that are at bottom wordless produces some provocative writing. (June)
Reviewed on: 02/01/1989
Release date: 02/01/1989
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