cover image Love Trouble: New and Collected Work

Love Trouble: New and Collected Work

Veronica Geng. Mariner Books, $14 (312pp) ISBN 978-0-395-94557-5

This collection of short satiric pieces comprises the oeuvre of the late Geng, a writer and editor for the New Yorker from 1976 to 1993. A compilation of two previously published collections, Partners and Love Trouble Is My Business, as well as newer work, this book confirms Geng as one of the most brilliant and encompassing satirists of the last few decades, providing readers unfamiliar with her writing with a concise volume of her caustic wit. Geng skewers the media, literature, sports and economics, but she's at her best when tackling political topics. From imagining the Nixon tapes as though they were a record being reviewed in the Village Voice to a Yankees trade of Bucky Dent for Republican Jack Kemp, Geng's pieces are wickedly smart, whimsically structured and multilayered. Taking a clipping or quote as inspiration, Geng free-associates to flesh out the contours of her signature diatribes. An interesting addition to the volume, as well as its one inconsistency, is an addendum tacked onto the end of each piece of Love Trouble Is My Business explaining its origin. Many of these function as self-consciously clear windows into Geng's thought processes and her friends' input (most notably, Ian Frazier, who also wrote the introduction), as well as hints of the climate of the New Yorker during the end of William Shawn's reign. The collected work of this master of ""the epigrammatic genre"" is a satisfying treat. (May)