My Jewish Face & Other Stories

Melanie Kaye Kantrowitz, Author, Melanie Kaye-Kantrowitz, Author, Melanie Kayeekantrowitz, Author Aunt Lute Books $9.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-933216-71-6
Kaye/Kantrowitz herself pins down the problem with her debut short-story collection, in the two-sentence conclusion to a tale of enraged women who murder two alleged rapists: ``I know you don't like this story. But it could be true.'' Her fictions, most of them about being lesbian and/or Jewish, have the ring of truth in their deeply felt emotions and intriguing characters, and there are moments of humor and poignancy, particularly in the portraits of aging Jewish leftists--``My parents could analyze the historical roots and class base of absolutely anything: a jar of peanut butter; the nubbly pink blanket I tucked between my legs every night. . . .'' But ultimately, it's hard to like the book. There are a number of unpleasantly graphic passages about bulimia--``I ate it, the whole half-gallon of ice cream, spoon and spoon, and threw it up, still cold and sweet''--and a dog whose head is split with an ax, and Kaye/Kantrowitz has an unfortunate tendency to be overly earnest: ``I feel like just standing up on the subway and proclaiming I'M A JEW. Would anyone especially hate me?'' Kaye/Kantrowitz is coeditor of The Tribe of Dina: A Jewish Women's Anthology. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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