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Don Bloch, Author New Amsterdam Books $18.95 (346p) ISBN 978-0-941533-67-6
This distinctive novel is that rare book that takes an issue--the exploitation and isolation of the handicapped and the disabled--and places it within the context of society at large. Boston plastic surgeon Jasper Whiting leaves his wife and children to live in a dump of an apartment in Boston's squalid North End. Almost immediately, he meets Rhoda, a mercurial yet courageous woman who teaches ``special'' children. Through her, he encounters an extraordinary riff-raff of personalities: Luigi, the one-legged gay photographer who is catapulted to stardom as a model; the deaf-mute Anselmo, whose handicaps obscure his brilliant mind; Alex Thane, a priest lately back from Lebanon where he witnessed the massacre of his disabled students. Not least of them is Rhoda herself, the ringleader and inspiration to this unusual crew, which Bloch ( Passing Through ) brings to life with brio . Sometimes humorous, sometimes haunting, never sentimental, this novel is as compelling in its candor as it is fantastical in its tale. (July)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 07/01/1989
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