The Entire Predicament

Lucy Corin, Author, Pam Houston, Introduction by Tin House Books $13.95 (186p) ISBN 978-0-9776989-8-1
A wide range of bizarre disquistions and turns of events marks Corin's debut collection. The narrator of ""Wizened"" declares that she ""became crotchety"" at age 24, wears housecoats and thick stockings, and spies on her neighbors for even the most minor signs of wrongdoing; with distinct Malthusian overtones, she declares that there are too many people, and that she only approves of the couple next door-whom she refers to as ""the homosexuals."" A similar preoccupation with an ominous future figures prominently in ""Airplane,"" in which a woman explains a flight in every last detail, including the snap of the mesh bag attached to the seat, and ""My Favorite Dentist,"" which juxtaposes the calm routine of a dental appointment with a rash of sniper attacks in Washington, D.C. At times, Corin digresses into an overly affected stream of consciousness (""Mice,"" ""A Woman with a Gardener""), and some moments feel forced, as when a narrator refers to her knowledge that ""if she continues to speak, some recognition of difficulty will materialize, as if difficulty is produced from the interaction of her voice with the air it encounters."" At her best, however, Corin infuses ordinary situations with powerful and unexpected images, from which she deftly draws a dry, detached humor.
Reviewed on: 10/01/2007
Release date: 09/01/2007
Genre: Fiction
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