My Father's Daughter: Stories

Irene Zahava, Other Crossing Press $9.95 (291p) ISBN 978-0-89594-424-5
The filial bonds represented in these 27 short stories by contemporary women range from natural and intimate, as in the excerpts from Audre Lorde's Zami: A New Spelling of My Name, wherein a daughter happily tastes food from her father's plate, to artificial and unpleasant, as in the weekend spent by two blood-related strangers in Mariane Rogoff's ``Meeting My Father Halfway.'' Two of the best stories--Edna O'Brien's ``What a Sky'' and Joyce Carol Oates's ``Stroke''--examine in jarring detail the complexity of seemingly ``normal'' relationships. A lingering sense of loss and missed opportunities infuses the omnibus. Hospitals and funerals are the prevailing setting; in one story, ``People Should Not Die in June in South Texas,'' by Gloria E. Anzaldua, a father's death occasions a narrative that's more like a wail of grief. The tone throughout is one of compassion mixed with anger--only in one instance, Carolyn Gage's ``Letter to My Father,'' does it descend into unadulterated hatred--and though the stories can repeat themselves thematically, on the whole this anthology will have something to say to anyone who has ever been, or ever had, a daughter. Zahava edits Crossing's WomanSleuth mystery series. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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