YOUR NAME HERE:_________ by Cris Mazza

YOUR NAME HERE:_________

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 From the author of Exposed (1994), etc.: another tense, slightly out-of-focus personal drama, but this one runs on too long, its effect dissipated by its own relentless intensity. Erin Haley is a popular newscaster in Reading, Penn., who suddenly has an on-air breakdown. She takes a leave of absence to go back to San Diego, where, ten years earlier, she believes that she was raped--or that maybe she raped someone. What she does remember is that she wound up in the hospital afterwards with a broken jaw, and that the man who might have beaten her up is possibly the man who was involved in the rape. In San Diego, Erin retrieves her journals from that time, entries written mainly at a radio station where the fresh-faced college grad had begun as a writer and researcher for a morning on-air team consisting of a sexist, insecure older hack and a talented ex-jock who had also been recently hired by the station. Mazza alternates the ten-year- old journal entries with an ongoing open letter to Kyle, the ex- jock who was somehow involved in the decade-old brutality. The piecemeal journal entries yield clues to what happened, while in the open letter Erin describes a healing affair she's currently having with a married man. This affair frees her to push through and remember what really happened and to go on with her life. Meanwhile, unfortunately, Mazza's precise, clear prose is often at odds with her heroine's chronic uncertainty: ``Half the time I'm not sure what I was talking about in this notebook...'' a typical journal entry begins. And the endless soul-searching grows stale quickly, making what could have been a tight, tense short story seem like an indulgent and unfocused novel. A few well-crafted and moving moments, then, but ultimately tedious and grating.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1995
ISBN: 1-56689-031-4
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Coffee House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 1995


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