43 Fictions

Steve Katz, Author Sun & Moon $12.95 (326p) ISBN 978-1-55713-069-3
The mundane and the surreal blend in this collection of Katz's previously unpublished writing as well as selections from earlier works. These experimental fictions are generally uneven and often tedious as Katz conveys his prevailing themes: the burden of mortality and the impulse to escape the chaos and hopelessness of urban life. But the two long pieces, in which he employs a linear narrative, are more memorable. In one, a frustrated writer/waiter moves in with his girlfriend and her adopted Vietnamese child in order to ease his liberal guilt. Unfortunately, the story ends abruptly with an unsatisfying technical twist. In the other piece, a man receives a parcel of human wrists in the mail--sending him off on a quest through a southern commune, a desecrated Native American burial site and the inner workings of his own mind. Katz's ( Florry of Washington Heights ) freewheeling, metafictional mode, his mysterious characters and bizarre settings fail to capture the magic and mystery of ordinary and not-so-ordinary life; his clever devices seem merely an indulgence rather than a means of genuine literary exploration. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
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