WHERE THE MUSIC WAS by Charles East

WHERE THE MUSIC WAS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is a collection of 15 short stories, some of which have appeared in The Antioch Review, Mademoiselle and The Virginia Quarterly Review. The settings are southern and deal more with the evocation of a mood than the creation of character. There are two general and related themes which run through most of the stories: loss of youth and a search for an elusive meaning to life. In the title story, for example, the narrator tells of his brief sojourn in Chicago (where the music was), and of the disappointing contrast between the imagined and the real. In The Return of Andrew Ferengold and The Rarest Kind of Love characters return home after long absences, in one case, to find that he was never missed, and in the other, to discover that things are never quite the way he would have them. Several of the stories concern old peoples' losing battle with time for instance Lottie Sykes loss of her house to the expressway and her subsequent complaint to a governor who hasn't been in office for almost twenty years. Where the Music Was is skillful and touching but to the extent that it relies on a kind of built-in nostalgia for a bygone time in the South, it is itself something of an irrelevance.

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 1965
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace & World