cover image Dislocations: Stories

Dislocations: Stories

Janette Turner Hospital. Louisiana State University Press, $21.95 (210pp) ISBN 978-0-8071-1508-4

The culture of many countriesher native Australia, England, India, the U.S. and Canada, where last year she was named among ``Best Ten Younger Writers''is woven through these richly diverse stories in a first short story collection by Hospital. In this aptly titled gathering, we experience the uprootedness of people whose lives are changed by circumstances over which they have no control. ``Happy Diwali'' follows two young lovers, Indians living in Canada; the parkas and ski caps they must wear in this cold climate are in strange contrast with saris and other colorful adornments appropriate for the celebration of a traditional festival. In ``Moving Out,'' an elderly Canadian widow is differently displaced and begins a painful coping with the large, noisy Chinese family that has moved in next door. Notable for its wry interpretation of a social reality is ``Mosie.'' The central character is a street-wise black cleaning lady in the employ of Columbia University who shepherds one of her clients, a Chaucer-spouting widow, through the mine field of a neighborhood in transition. In these portrayals of people who feel ``other'' wherever they happen to be, a sense of place is captured in nuances of speech and emotions. Hospital's novels include the Seal Award-winning The Ivory Swing. (September)