Licorice

Abby Frucht, Author Graywolf Press $18.95 (210p) ISBN 978-1-55597-137-3
Frucht ( Snap ; Iowa Short Fiction Award-winner Fruit of the Month ) creates a gently erotic view of the human and natural worlds in this elegant, surreal second novel. Two forces are evident in the lives of her characters: the yearning for union through love and the drifting apart through indifference. Temporary letter carrier (``TLC'') Liz connects people by delivering mail. Her scientist husband, Daniel, communes with plants and hand-pollinates them, ``playing matchmaker on our fruit trees.'' A dog leaps on Liz as if it ``fell in love'' with her. Liz's friends hunger for men, or boldly act out their needs. Liz herself fantasizes an affair with ``Cro-Magnon man'' Joe, a loner who lives in an abandoned greenhouse. But one steamy summer, during which their baby, Stevie, learns to walk, their small town disintegrates. People mysteriously leave; Liz's friends desert their baffled husbands and lovers. Streets disappear; library and phone systems close down. Though warned that her craving may deprive her body of needed substances, Liz devours curative licorice till her kisses grow smoky on Daniel's skin. Frucht is by turns playful and pensive, fanciful and realistic. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1990
Release date: 10/01/1990
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-8021-3350-2
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