Feeding the Eagles: Short Stories

Paulette Bates Alden, Author Graywolf Press $16 (176p) ISBN 978-1-55597-111-3
Debuting with 11 interrelated stories, Alden, a writer-in-residence at the University of Minnesota, weaves rather mundane circumstances and events into an integrated view of contemporary life in middle America. Written over a period of 15 years, the narratives have as the central character Miriam Batson, a Southerner transplanted to the Midwest by marriage. The different aspects of her liferelationships with parents, sister, grandmother, lovers and, eventually, husbandemerge gently, even when the emotions and tension are at peak levels. One compelling story, ``Legacies,'' involves Miriam's tending to her declining grandmother and receiving the dubious reward of the grandmother's youthful hair plait. ``At the Beach'' and ``The Batsons of Brown and Batson'' deal with recognizable family traditions and the loss that comes with a child's growing awareness. Notable for cadenced elegance of dialogue is ``Ladies' Luncheon,'' where culture clashes resound. Rounding out the collection, as it rounds out the life of the protagonist, is the title story, an elegiac homecoming to the North for Miriam and her husband. In their stately flow, these tales are quietly effective. (September)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1988
Release date: 10/01/1988
Paperback - 978-1-55597-116-8
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