THE WORLD OUTSIDE: Collected Short Fiction About Women at Work by Ann--Ed. Reit

THE WORLD OUTSIDE: Collected Short Fiction About Women at Work

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Though all twelve short stories herein deal with women who work, very few relate either to contemporary issues and concerns of working women or to Reit's banal introduction--which concludes that ""while human relationships may vary and change through the years, work can be a continuing and constant part of a woman's life."" The frustrations of Alice Munro's writer in her rented office--and, for a turnabout, those that G. B. Stern attributes to an explorer's stay-at-home husband--conform to Reit's theme, and Alice Childress scores with the pointed humor of her cleaning woman's one-page monologue. But it is a personal encounter that inspires the 40-year dedication of Sarah Orne Jewett's New England housemaid; a fiancÉ's letter supersedes all pedagogical considerations for Katherine Mansfield's singing mistress; and, more intriguingly, Henry James' painter creates her masterpiece out of rage toward an old lover. Weakened by Jean Rhys' slight ""Mannequin"" and O. Henry's callow ""The Trimmed Lamp,"" it's an odd lot, uneven in quality and in relevance, and staid overall.

Pub Date: Sept. 26th, 1977
Publisher: Four Winds