cover image The Hottest Night of the Century: Stories

The Hottest Night of the Century: Stories

Glenda Adams / Author Cane Hill Press $8.94 (125p) ISBN 978-0-

In a collection that will particularly interest feminists, Australian writer Adams ( Dancing on Coral ) displays a commendable range of subject and of tone. The strongest stories map the casual cruelty of men toward women--a father tells his daughter that ``the best movie ever made is Treasure Island , because there is only one woman in it''; a bridegroom turns on a television set to watch Wuthering Heights on his wedding night; a husband criticizes the weight of his wife, who, unbeknownst to him, is pregnant. Other works experiment with style. Adams adopts the diction of a parable in ``The Hollow Woman,'' whose narrator undergoes a sentimental education in sexist society. ``Friends'' borrows characters' names from classical mythology; the punningly titled ``A Snake Down Under'' cleverly plays on the biblical fable of Eve. Several self-consciously literary pieces less fruitfully attempt a certain guilelessness (``Sometimes I tell lies, and sometimes I only tell stories . . . . I only want to please people and make them happy''). (May)