Kissing Cousins: A Memory

Hortense Calisher, Author Grove/Atlantic $14.95 (118p) ISBN 978-1-55584-194-2
Calisher's ``kissing cousin''part of her family in every respect except bloodwas spunky Katie Pyle, the girl with ``brown teacup eyes.'' When the author, a cheerfully arrogant 15-year-old born to a Southern Jewish family, had trouble coping in tough New York City, Katie, 15 years her senior, was there to give moral support. Through the decades their friendship served as a wellspring that preserved the pristine spontaneity of their shared childhoods. Calisher brings to this slim, brave, deeply affecting memoir the gift for sharply drawn characters and gimlet wit that mark her novels ( False Entry , The New Yorkers ) and short stories. ``My family went down like the Lusitania ,'' she writes after her mother died. Katie helped her weather the storm. Skipping from Port Washington, N.Y., to Port Charlotte, Fla., and following Katie in her metamorphosis from mother-sister figure to wartime nurse to elegant old lady, Calisher keeps the flame of memory and friendship burning bright in a splendid performance. (September)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1988
Release date: 10/01/1988
Ebook - 118 pages - 978-1-4804-3903-0
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