EARTHLY CREATURES by Charles Jackson


Email this review


A new collection of short stories (The Sunnier Side- 1950) again scores some private situations in ordinary lives with a deadly recognition, and there's probably more discomfort than pain to the home truths which are delivered here. A man's hatred of himself is redirected against his family and a nephew in whom he identifies his own cowardice; the romantic abstraction of a matinee idol becomes a likeble reality some twenty years later; a boy's guileless friendliness brings about the capture of a conflict after a prison break but brings with it a sense of shame as well as pride; a man's impatient resentment of his mother's devotion is stilled after many years when the reserve of a last farewell is an intimation of her death; a famous author's detached and deliberate provocation of the experiences he will later exploit does not exclude his own guilt when he tampers with a young marriage; etc. etc. These and others provide a rather cheerless assembly of lives at critical- to clinical- moment of self-revelation, with an accuracy of intention and treatment.

Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Young- Ballantine