cover image Deadly Sins

Deadly Sins

Mary Gordon. William Morrow & Company, $17 (125pp) ISBN 978-0-688-13690-1

Collecting eight essays by eight writers originally published in the New York Times Book Review during the summer of 1993, this anthology considers, one by one, the legendary seven deadly sins. But in addition to sloth, anger, lust, gluttony, avarice, pride and envy, this volume includes despair, which Joyce Carol Oates calls ""the sole sin that cannot be forgiven."" Although each reflection is engaging and thoughtful, Mary Gordon's description of the murderous nature of anger is especially powerful. William Trevor's experience with a gluttonous accountant skates along the thin line separating comedy and tragedy and Richard Howard offers a poem about avarice. Each sin is whimsically represented by one of Delessert's playful black-and-white line illustrations. (Oct.)