cover image The Country I Come from

The Country I Come from

Maura Stanton. Milkweed Editions, $9.95 (106pp) ISBN 978-0-915943-33-3

Exceptionally sensitive and deft, this collection of seven stories chronicles coming of age in the Minnesota of the 1960s. Stanton, a Yale Younger Poet ( Snow on Snow ) who heads the creative writing program at Indiana State University, brings to this otherwise familiar territory the talent to articulate the inchoate yearnings of youth. The narrator throughout is a likable and unnamed daughter of a large Catholic family that has recently moved from another state. Ordinary eventsbabysitting, working at Woolworth's, an aunt's wedding, a severe stormintroduce the balefula neighbor's accidental death, an exhibitionist, a ruptured friendship, a brother sent to Vietnam. Stanton's prose steers clear of pyrotechnics in favor of well-situated descriptive details. For example, just after the family's relocation, the narrator and her siblings play: ``A mosquito whirred over our heads, and then we remembered that we had an upstairs window. An upstairs! Just like the children in the books about Scotland we were reading.'' The sole complaint to be lodged against these stories is that one wishes there were more of them to savor. Illustrated. (Nov.)