THE DORP by Frieda Arkin
Kirkus Star


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Kuyper's Dorp is a vestigial Dutch community upstate New York; under the ""inherent changelessness"" from side porch to cemetery is an obdurate narrowness of heart and mind. This is the impression Miss Arkin conveys with tenacious truth as ordinary people go about their business with watchful eyes and busy tongues. To introduce some of them--take Elizabeth Rust who is fighting childlessness and age and whose overly amiable husband Archie is accidentally killed on the road; or Doris Osterhout of the local Grand American Lunch whose opinions are solid as the virtues of her cooking; or J.C. Barrows, a widower who runs the newspaper by day but is a nightmare ridden nightwalker; or Evelyn Clancy, a stubborn alcoholic who insists ""I know that my liver redeemeth"" to the soulless, salvational minister Mackail; and on .... Miss Arkin's novel, while never lapsing into the mundane, has a firm grasp of the prosaic texture of life and people which gives it a particularized consistency. From beginning to end she's self-evidently a writer of intelligent character and substantive conviction who makes few sentimental concessions to Our Town while retaining one's undiminished interest.

Pub Date: Aug. 25th, 1969
Publisher: Dial