cover image Three Thousand Dollars: Stories

Three Thousand Dollars: Stories

David Lipsky. Summit Books, $18.45 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-671-67346-8

Lipsky joins other bright talented writers of his generation with a collection of short stories that seem to keep to the boundaries of his life and the esthetics of writing workshops. Most of these 11 stories, however, have a compelling immediacy and a strong narrative line, qualities that take them beyond the bare allusiveness of minimalist fiction. Their settings are middle-class Manhattan and the schools and summer enclaves the young hero inhabits. Lipksy gives him different names, and once or twice a different gender, and if he had not, the book might have taken the shape of a loose, vagrant novel, and gained thereby. Yet the tales, each with believable situations and character behavior, can stand on their own. The title story subtly reveals a family's relationship and the narrator's deep but inexpressible shame. The longest story, ``Relativity,'' concerns a college transfer student at the mercy of a dan gerous bully, and Lipsky plainly states his belief that modern-day liberal theorizing must not be allowed to circumvent the working out of fairness and justice. Because of their limited ambience and nearly identical voice, these stories are best read at intervals. It is obvious, however, that Lipsky is a writer worth watching. (Sept.)