My Own Alphabet

Bobbie Louise Hawkins, Author Coffee House Press $9.95 (144p) ISBN 978-0-918273-52-9
Arranging the subjects of her pieces alphabetically ( A is for ``Absolutes''; L is about her cousin Linda Joy), Hawkins ( One Small Saga ) jogs memory and induces fantasy. ``Dr. Gore was an abortionist,'' begins the first entry; by the second paragraph, it is 1948 and readers are sympathizing with the narrator/patient. In ``A Thousand Pieces,'' a group of women assemble a puzzle while gossiping about friends. This delightful story could be an emblem for the entire collection: bits and pieces of varying length are juxtaposed and, once fit together, the life of a woman emerges; often she is given the same background as the author, sometimes she is camouflaged. She is divorced after a long marriage, has young children (in several stories) and continually reflects on the past. Hawkins moves with apparent ease from tale to tale, suffusing each with irony, anger or love as the occasion demands. Interspersed epigrams by a range of writers confirm the universality of Hawkins's concerns. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 08/01/1989
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