THE MONKEY PUZZLE TREE and Other Stories by Florence Chanock Cohen

THE MONKEY PUZZLE TREE and Other Stories

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A graceful collection of stories that offer hard-working variety rather than overall impact. Cohen tries a bit of everything: licks of Southern gothic in ""Mrs. Poe"" and ""The Leopard""; journalistic, socially stirred accounts of Bedouins and Israeli Arabs and Soviet immigrants; a mother/daughter abyss of sufferings, both imagined and real; and, perhaps closest to the heart and talent of the author, tales of immigrant Jews trying unsuccessfully to jimmy open the opportunity that America's mythic image promised them. Though her flashbacks have a distressing penchant for slipping into italics (a typographical eyesore), Cohen's style is often strong and assured, boldly phrase-making: ""She was sorry about Mrs. Moberly, she told herself, but when her sorry went a second time around she felt her toes curling back."" Too scattershot in tone and subject to make an integrated, vivid impression, then, but Cohen is a storyteller worth keeping an eye on as she moves--we'll hope--towards a distinctive voice all her own.

Pub Date: Aug. 15th, 1979
Publisher: Story Press (7370 South Shore Dr., Chicago, Ill. 60649)