CHILDREN IS ALL by James Purdy


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A collection of off-beat stories and play, which tries to catch lonely people at revealing moments. In Daddy Wolf, a man whose wife and children have just left him because of their miserable, rat-infested apartment, calls strangers from the phonebook to listen to his troubles, partly because his wife, too, had once sought help from a telephone faith healer..Women reassure themselves, by gossiping about another woman.. A swimming pool instructor fights off the love of the poor owner's slow witted granddaughter with a professional calm..Two homosexuals, one a halfwit, reach an acceptance of mutual need..A woman repulses the love of her vanished husband's father for the sake of her son.. God talks to his hopeless underling creation, Man..In the long, final plays, a woman's son comes home after many years in the penitentiary, and dies in her arms, unrecognized; a very old woman stops the Creator's destruction of the universe by her domestic belief in it. Despite sometimes slightly clinical themes, most of this is told in homely plain prose and dialogue, and the contrast- between everyday reality and surrealistic overtones, the book often a queerly human and striking comment on Man's equivocal condition.

Publisher: New Directions