The Threshing Floor: Short Stories

Barbara Burford, Author Firebrand Books $7.95 (210p) ISBN 978-0-932379-27-6
First published in England, this collection of short stories and a novella contains several stories that are written from the viewpoint of foreign, working-class women, who suffer at the hands of society and those in positions of power. In ""He Said,'' Beva young black Londoner with subsistence employmentlearns that she is pregnant. The doctor recommends an abortion, and her slick boyfriend abandons her; but she meets a compassionate woman in her building who gets her to recognize that the men do not have her best interests in mind. In the eponymous novella, Hannah, a talented glass-blower, slowly recovers from the death of her lover, Jenny, a world-famous, feminist poet. While the characters and the situation are of some interest, Burford's earnestness causes the story to drag, the writing is often sloppy (in several sentences, for example, the word ``sudden'' is used twice), and she has a kind of mystical approach to the process of creativity that isn't clearly conveyed (``Filling with light as she turned the glass bowl slowly in the silence, the joyous dance of the swifts through the liquid blue morning, a symphony in light and colour''). (April)
Reviewed on: 03/31/1987
Release date: 04/01/1987
Hardcover - 210 pages - 978-0-932379-28-3
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