Contenders: Short Stories

Terence Winch, Author Story Line Press $11.95 (160p) ISBN 978-0-934257-23-7
The contenders of this volume's title story are lovers fighting for ever-elusive sympathy, recognition and simple nurturing. Other titles astutely vary the same theme: ``Fidelity,'' ``Captivity,'' ``Control.'' Willie, a sound engineer whose identity is first disclosed at the end of ``Contenders,'' resurfaces in ``Acts of Resistance'' and ``The Age of Transition.'' In each incarnation he attempts a meaningful relationship with a different woman, but the tenuousness of these unions overshadows any joy they afford. Winch ( Irish Musicians/American Friends ) offers convincing insights into the concerns of middle-class former hippies approaching middle age. A culture is on display here, marked by friends killed or wounded in Vietnam, or enrolled in school to avoid the draft. People are judged according to whether they do drugs, whether they like Dylan. Willie sorely misses the days when Nixon would appear on television and make ``those wonderfully embarrassing, self-conscious statements.'' Winch's observations are perceptive, but narrow in their scope. (July)
Reviewed on: 04/30/1989
Release date: 05/01/1989
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