A VISIT TO STRANGERS: Stories by Gladys Swan

A VISIT TO STRANGERS: Stories

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Swan's fourth collection (Do You Believe in Cabeza de Vaca?, 1991, etc.) contains 13 heartfelt though frequently muted stories about frustrated characters whose experiences and acquaintances challenge them to become more than they are, or have dared to be--such as the woman (in ""Portrait"") who feels unequal to the image of herself seen in a flattering painting. Exhaustion and defeat don't just define Swan's characters; these emotions enervate and oversimplify them, as does their author's unfortunate tendency toward flat, inexpressive language. Only occasionally--as in the story (""Lucking Out"") of a rootless painter whose imagination is awakened by his experience of Italy--do her people flutter into life and seize hold of our imaginations.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1996
Page count: 184pp
Publisher: Univ. of Missouri