MAYBE by Burt Blechman


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Burt Blechman is one of the brightest black talents around even though this new novel, compared to The War of Camp Omongo and his arcane, profane Stations, is calibrated to lighter comedy. Meet Myra Russell--fifty nine, horrors; a widow, no tears; defying not only the unfulfilled years but every unfilled hour as she rushes frenetically through ""millions of urgent diversions"" -- new pastimes, new placebos, new motivations, opera, canasta, Italian lessons, courses (Creative Anxiety) causes (Birth Control), on and on from one little ""lull"" to another. As she says to her friend Debbie, whose husband is presumably dying in the hospital although he seems to come alive with all his nurses, ""what does it matter, suppressed, repressed, or depressed."" She makes a sortie into the Village, ""her ermine bristling like a wary groundhog""; she bedevils her faithful maid; she takes a trip; finally she sails away, perhaps forever. Meantime Blechman, an arresting, annihilating writer, has pencilled in all the crow's feet on the vacuous face of a mindless, soulless woman. But in cataloguing the empty busyness he cannot help but invite the tedium of Myra's life. Maybe- yes for admirers, a stinging caricature.

Pub Date: Jan. 25th, 1966
Publisher: Prentice-Hall