How I Learned

Gloria Frym, Author Coffee House Press $11.95 (144p) ISBN 978-1-56689-003-8
These fluid stories resonate with both internal and external dialogues in a variety of voices, most of them on the edge in one way or another. A group of prisoners sits around a table making valentines; two friends and former neighbors reunite and realize that there is no way to make up for time lost; a 70-year-old woman flies to Las Vegas hoping to see Frank Sinatra; the impoverished housekeeper to a contessa whose villa is falling apart recounts her boss's attempts to make money. Although the subjects come from varied ethnic backgrounds, countries and walks of life, the individual tales segue smoothly from one to the next. The story of a cheating high school student who finds a letter his teacher wrote to a child she gave up for adoption many years before is followed by one about a teenager who has sex with a boy and all his friends, which in turn leads into the tale of an illiterate fourth-grade girl. Frym's ( By Ear ) background as a poet has trained her well in the use of strong imagery and--although much of the narration here has a detached tone--she has invested this collection with emotional weight. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
Genre: Fiction
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