cover image Crash & Tell: Stories

Crash & Tell: Stories

Lori Baker. LSU, $18.95 trade paper (144p) ISBN 978-0-8071-4206-6

Though technically not loners, the women who inhabit Baker%E2%80%99s dark, arresting collection exhibit a conscious withdrawal from the world. In %E2%80%9CStill life,%E2%80%9D a woman devotes herself to %E2%80%9Cassembling an exhaustive photographic record of the head shapes of Spanish and Italian bisque dolls of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.%E2%80%9D In %E2%80%9CThe Coming of Age of Jane,%E2%80%9D a young Jane Goodall heads to the Congo. In %E2%80%9CGhost Story,%E2%80%9D a librarian who once dreamed of leaving her hometown now maintains her house exactly as it was when her parents were alive. Though meticulous, compelling language, Baker (Crazy Water) reveals the chilling deliberateness of these decisions. As the quiet narrator from %E2%80%9CGhost Story%E2%80%9D states: %E2%80%9CI took my book into the living room and sat in my father%E2%80%99s favorite chair and waited for the late summer twilight; but I did not open the book, and when twilight came I did not stop sitting, and I did not turn on the light.%E2%80%9D Readers will come away hungry for more from this macabre, humorous, and tantalizing voice. (Sept.)