Winter's Tales: New Series 4

Robin Baird-Smith, Editor St. Martin's Press $17.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-312-02480-2
Two elements distinguish this prestigious collection of mostly British short stories: the ecstatically evoked sense of place and the lyric quality of the prose. Although the protagonists differ dramatically--in age, status, race and culture--they share a sense of spiritual loss and personal failure that in many instances can be resolved only by death. Thus two dissimilar stories such as Francis King's ``The Tradesman'' and Laura Kalpakian's ``A Christmas Cordial'' profile aged women whose drab lives end in quiet rapture. In ``Orion,'' Jeanette Winterson transforms the myth of Orion's rape of Artemis and subsequent murder by her into a metaphor for the universal search for inner peace. In Damon Galgut's ``The Night of the Blood,'' two boys, Kevin and Kyle, have a single homoerotic encounter, in which Kevin ejaculates blood, an incident that scars his later relationships with women. Of the 14 stories in this anthology (the fourth in a new series), not one fails to stir long-dormant imaginings or to create a memorable character. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1988
Release date: 12/01/1988
Hardcover - 292 pages - 978-0-312-03736-9
Hardcover - 224 pages - 978-0-312-00085-1
Hardcover - 978-0-312-10634-8
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