Lover

Harriet Zinnes, Author Coffee House Press $9.95 (160p) ISBN 978-0-918273-46-8
These short stories explore the difficulties of intimacy, casting artists, academics and the middle class in recurrent scenarios of marriage, divorce and adultery. While Zinnes ( Ezra Pound and the Visual Arts ) maintains a crisp, even ironic tone, her outlook is frequently dark. Visions of love as alternately willful and ego-destroying--an anguished loneliness punctuated by spasms of passion--overshadow such occasional optimistic glimpses of budding romance as are afforded by the buoyant lead story, ``Two Roads,'' in which a woman sallies forth to meet her beau, or the successful ``Stars, Etc.,'' which demonstrates the ability of lovers to breathe life into cliches. Zinnes felicitously matches voice with character; her writing is skillfully compressed. She has not, however, freed herself from such influences as Joyce and Woolf. And if her style is early-20th century, her terrain is the too-familiar '80s topos of overdetermined liaisons in middle-class urban and suburban America. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1989
Release date: 04/01/1989
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