Love, Struggle and Change: Stories by Women

Irene Zahava, Author Crossing Press $8.95 (183p) ISBN 978-0-89594-263-0
ese 12 stories by and about women cover a wide range of topics, including pregnancy and childbirth, romantic relationships both heterosexual and lesbian, and such political issues as society's treatment of the handicapped and the environment. Edited by Zahava (Hear the Silence), the collection suffers from an unevenness of tone and quality: Harriet Malinowitz's ""Water Skiing,'' about a love affair gone bad, falls flat with the perception, ``Human beings enter other human beings like tape cassettes: you put them in, you play them, and then they are ejected.'' Similarly, Ann Viola's ``Excerpts from Sunnyview Journal'' is more a plea for the plight of the disabled than a well-crafted story, and its nonfictional tone jars with rather than complements the other stories. However, Toni Cade Bambara offers a gem with her ``Christmas Eve at Johnson's Drugs N Goods''; Marilyn Krysl's ``We Are Ready'' provocatively links a series of dreams to suggest the narrator's psychological landscape; and Carolina Mancuso's moving ``Mamie'' describes a woman's liberation from her tyrannical husband. Margaret Atwood's ``Giving Birth'' is a particularly interesting exploration both of childbirth and its inadequate, inherently biased vocabulary: ``But who gives it? And to whom is it given? Certainly it doesn't feel like giving, which implies a flow, a gentle handing over, no coercion.'' This story alone would make the book a worthwhile addition to a feminist collection. (April)
Reviewed on: 04/25/1988
Release date: 05/01/1988
Genre: Fiction
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