IN THE VILLAGE by Anthony Bailey
Kirkus Star


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Mr. Bailey's village is Stonington, Connecticut, where he lives, and he has discovered it to be a ""suitable container for one's loyalties."" Unlike urban neighborhoods (where they exist), Stonington has an extra-personal battery of facts and operative artifacts, all affirming the identity of the village as a home stand. There is a marble-columned library, whose gateway pillars each supports ""a cannonball fired by the attacking British fleet in 1814."" There are the withering New Haven (now Penn Central) railroad tracks and the ghost of a trolley line. The shore offers a fishing pier, beaches, and wild rocks and birds. Bailey visits the store clusters, watches residents weave back from the Holy Ghost Club, listens to neighborhood battles and the squeak of a clothesline. ""Contact is what the village is all about; we can't avoid people."" And the close interstice of responsibilities and loyalties, an intimate and constantly refreshed knowledge of place, could perhaps free one from ""contemporary America, which is merely a holding company, a conglomerate."" As in his fine The Light in Holland (1970) Bailey particularizes the nature of a society in which people ""invest"" their lives.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1971
Publisher: Knopf