Becoming the Enemy

Brenda Peterson, Author Graywolf Press $17.5 (276p) ISBN 978-1-55597-104-5
Hiding behind the portentous title of Peterson's second novel (after River of Light) is a slight, overly autobiographical tale with a worn-out theme: bright-eyed country girl goes to the big city to become a great writer. Readers may doubt the heroine's literary abilities after reading a complete short story that she submits with her resume at the publishing house of her dreams, where she ends up as an editorial assistant. Only one year elapses in the course of the book, but it takes forever to get past the first day, given the stupefyingly slow narrative pace, cliched characters and hackneyed dialogue. Pronouncements on life, love and old age by an elderly editor who admits to his coworker/mistress that he's in love with a young male colleague are embarrassingly banal and typical of most of the text. (June)
Reviewed on: 08/05/1988
Release date: 08/01/1988
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