Vital Signs: International Stories on Aging

Dorothy Sennett, Editor, Anne Czarniecki, Editor Graywolf Press $12.95 (227p) ISBN 978-1-55597-143-4
The vitality depicted in this vibrant collection of stories comes in many forms. What the characters share is a wellspring of resourcefulness--sexual, intellectual, emotional, spiritual--that enables them to deal with life's expected and unforeseen blows. The international array of authors opens up whole new worlds to readers, contradicting the widespread perception of older people as creatures to be shut away or shunned. In Maurice Gee's ``A Glorious Morning, Comrade,'' Mr. Pitt-Rimmer concocts clever ruses to outwit his patronizing, overprotective daughters, allowing him to escape to the store to buy the beloved sweets cruelly denied him. A woman breaks her back cleaning houses for years so that she can buy a plot of land whose natural beauty will sustain her declining years in Elizabeth Jolley's ``Pear Tree Dance.'' The peculiar vicissitudes of an enduring romantic relationship keep an odd couple on their toes in Ruth Prawer Jhabvala's ``The Man with the Dog.'' Also featured are stories by Alice Walker, Mavis Gallant, Jamaica Kincaid, Amos Oz and Zhang Jie. Sennett is the editor of Full Measure: Modern Short Stories on Aging ; Czarniecki is on the Graywolf editorial staff . (May)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1991
Release date: 04/01/1991
Genre: Fiction
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