LIVE BAIT by Frank Tuohy


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In these dozen stories, Tuohy homes, as always (The Ice Saints, Fingers in the Door), to one subject: foreignness--the reversible lining of someone always being strange to someone else, ""seen, but not recognized."" The best manifestations of this preoccupation here are the stories that put English and Japanese people together, in either England or Japan. A lecherous English poet and his second wife are visited by a delicate Japanese girl graduate student, who horrifiedly gets sick over the luncheon lamb and patiently has herself groped by the poet under the table. An American drama professor in Tokyo stages a homosexual interpretation of A View From The Bridge, causing the male student who plays the lead to kill himself out of shame. Tuohy catches the Japanese ""barometric"" response to social situation--and the converse Occidental grossness. Out of Japan, though, Tuohy seems sourer; just as precise and spare, but more wicked and galled. Out-of-placeness has found its poet in this wry, perceptive writer--when he doesn't, that is, allow himself to become snappish and bitter.

Pub Date: Jan. 22nd, 1978
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston