When Things Get Back to Normal

Constance Pierce, Author F2c $17.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-932511-00-3
The characters who inhabit this collection (a novella, five stories and two sketches) all seem to suffer from a similar malaise: they are social anomalies, and their 19th century sensibilities are unappreciated in today's world. In ""The Tenants at Auxillac,'' the owner of a decaying chateaua pretentious ``middle-aged orphan with no profession''is reduced to renting a cottage on his property to a young couple, whom he comes to detest. While suffering this indignity, he attempts to entertain, in grand style, an equally pretentious minor actress who has stopped off on her way to Cannes. In ``Manosque,'' a dilettantish couple (supported by his annuity) flees '60s America for the South of France, where he studies Lorca and the classics in translation, and she wonders whether the light at the Cote d'Azur is the same as it was a century earlier. Never letting up on artiface or arch prose style (something akin to Henry James but with sexuality), Pierce's surprisingly comic exploration of human illusions is rendered with delicate grace. (April)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-932511-01-0
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