Seven Cardinal Virtues

Alison Fell, Editor, Grizelda Holderness, Illustrator Serpent's Tail $13.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-85242-169-4
Seven feminist writers, Kathy Acker the best known among them, offer satirical takes on the seven virtues: charity, chastity, generosity, fortitude, humility, justice and patience. Acker's biting drama, ``Dead Doll,'' deconstructs humility, and while it is the best of the lot, the others do not lag far behind for emotional impact. ``Dead Doll'' reveals the propriety and pettiness that dominate over the written word in book publishing, forcing authors into a deferential role. In ``Generosity'' by Leslie Dick, the story of a love triangle is set between historical accounts of potlatch, the Native American practice of giving away material possessions to raise status within the tribe. The main character in Zoe Fairbairn's ``Fortitude'' must also contend with love a little too freely given, as she struggles to keep her marriage afloat. Each tale is a personal interpretation of what the virtues are, and they offer shifting perspectives on the problem of breaking out of pre-conditioned roles--shattering the virtuous images that have composed the ``feminine'' character. Fell is a Scottish novelist and poet. Illustrated. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/1990
Release date: 09/01/1990
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