ALL ABOUT WOMEN by Andrew M. Greeley


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A collection of 24 short stories, all previously published in magazines and all featuring women as ""protagonists/antagonists."" In his introduction to these vintage, quasi-sentimental tales--love stories, adventures in the supernatural, humorous, affectionate tributes to scrappy women (and men) in the old parish neighborhoods of Chicago--Fr. Greeley adds a speculative note: ""in each story a woman either is or creates an opportunity of grace for another person or is visited by an offer of grace in the form of another person."" There are lovely women, like ""Jenny,"" rejected throughout her early life, even by the narrator; but Jenny turned ""death into life,"" still smiling years later and offering grace to her ""childhood sweetheart the priest."" No doubt that the featured women here are on the highest of pedestals, where they tend to shimmer in a fuzzy focus: they are chaste, glowing, bright, and impressively bosom-ed. A beautiful ""Stranger"" leaves a tantalizing image of a ""delicious shoulder,"" and ""Laura"" offers one passionate (unconsummated, naturally) lifelong love to a priest, who, like most of the other narrators here, is love-struck at first sight. The supernatural tales include nightmares (a ghost town hosts a horror of accusing demons); ghosts (a dead mother rings a doorbell on a compassionate errand, and a young Iowan priest is visited by a long-dead beauty); and spiritual confabs (a ""Ms. Carpenter""--guess who?--assesses the contemporary Church). Other women are sore beset: a timid widow shuns love, another sex, and mothers arm for battle. The cupid's arrow-and-adoration courtship rituals and the venerable slang are dated, but Fr. Greeley's followers won't care: his rectory ""insides"" and pre-Vatican II settings are still irresistible, and within all the candy corn there are treasures of spiritual wisdom.

Pub Date: Jan. 11th, 1989
ISBN: 0765326213
Publisher: Tor--dist. by St. Martin's