Bend This Heart

Jonis Agee, Et, Author Coffee House Press $9.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-918273-51-2
In these very brief stories, Agee ( Houses ) strives for a nonchalant tone. She introduces emotionless characters referred to as ``the body,'' ``the mother,'' ``the father,'' ``the doctor sister,'' or ``the lawyer sister,'' who remain distinct despite their namelessness. Titles borrowed from hit songs underline Agee's subject matter: ``I Can't Stop Loving You,'' ``Stop Loving Me,'' ``Cupid,'' ``Just Your Friend,'' ``You Belong to Me,'' etc. References to popular culture abound: a father sits in the living room watching one soap opera while his daughter watches another in the bedroom; a man, compelled by information gleaned from Marvel and DC comic books, goes to the woods to meet creatures from outer space; the widow, two ex-wives and innumerable lovers of a suicide wonder where he committed the act, turning their bereavement into a game of Clue. In a few longer pieces, such as ``Private Lives'' and ``Someone Else to Love You,'' Agee establishes motivation more firmly and displays a gratifying sensitivity, even if characters here evince the same flipness as their counterparts in the less rewarding stories. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/30/1989
Release date: 05/01/1989
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