SMALL SPACES BETWEEN EMERGENCIES by Alison Moore

SMALL SPACES BETWEEN EMERGENCIES

Stories
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Eleven stories, mostly about women in trouble who are drawn to one another--in a first collection that's moving, even when it tends to be formulaic and predictably minimalist. The best here are ``Leaving by the Window,'' about a narrator who travels with her widower father in a series of cars (``After the funeral it seemed we began to look everywhere for her'') until she runs away to New York, where she's raped. ``Rain Dance at Blue Cloud'' concerns a girl whose mother leaves her and whose father deposits her in Custer, South Dakota, at the Blue Cloud Inn, where she works for Louise--the ensuing slice-of-life is evocative and carefully developed. In ``Recovery,'' the narrator meets a new tenant recovering from cancer and befriends her even as the cancer returns in a terminal form. ``The Ways We Hear About It'' follows two daughters who return home to their father and stepmother--where the characters reveal to one another various illnesses and separations. The moments are appropriately small and delicately rendered. The same could be said of the rest. ``News from Another World'' concerns a nursing-home resident who kidnaps a baby for an afternoon; ``Turnaround,'' a father who sees his son for the first time in years and travels with him on crosstown buses; ``Communique,'' a man and a woman who read each other's journals; and ``Boojum,'' a widow dying of cancer who goes to Mexico and comes to an epiphany while staring at a boojum tree out of its habitat, ``a wanderer from a small close-knit clan.'' Such metaphors dazzle and often transcend the bleakness here. A promising writer with a small, honest talent, Moore gives her characters their due and lets them work out their lonely destinies for themselves.

Pub Date: June 8th, 1992
ISBN: 1-56279-022-6
Page count: 192pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1992




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