I CANNOT GET YOU CLOSE ENOUGH by Ellen Gilchrist

I CANNOT GET YOU CLOSE ENOUGH

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Though they sometimes read like outtakes, these three interconnected novellas are--at their best--quirky investigations, in Gilchrist's inimitable voice, into the further adventures of characters introduced in previous books (The Anna Papers, Light Can Be Both Wave and Particle, Drunk with Love, etc.). Thematically, the stories intend to follow the youngest generation of Gilchrist space cadets into quirky southern soap-opera territory. Gilchrist always has a flair for portraying vulnerable love-haunted people of means who do mostly what they want to do, sometimes promiscuously. ""Winter"" is a manuscript supposedly written by Anna Hand (The Anna Hand), who before her suicide (she walks into the ocean to escape the embarrassing ravages of terminal cancer) believed ""life is supposed to be tragic, why else would we need whiskey or need God?"" She searches for Sheila, ""the worst bitch I have ever known,"" in London and Istanbul before hunting her down in Charlotte, North Carolina. After the usual Gilchrist psychosexual games (Anna to new love Adrian: ""Would you mind if I fell in love with you?""), Anna finds Jesse, ""the divine end of all the mess and confusion of the genes."" In ""De Havilland Hand,"" Olivia De Havilland Hand, child of Daniel Hand (North Carolina) and Summer Deer Wagoner (an Oklahoman Indian), is rescued by Anna from her Indian clan in Oklahoma and, in North Carolina, becomes buddies with Jessie. ""A Summer in Maine"" lets several familiar voices--Miss Chrystal, Traceleen, Lydia--tell the story of a summer at Ms. Noel's house in Maine. The whole clan arrives--including Daniel, his son King, and Jessie--before it all collapses into quirky thumbnail instances of love affairs, Still, Gilchrist fans will delight in the reprise of her high-strong creations, whose younger generation promises to be as loopy as the last.

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 1990
Publisher: Little, Brown