LITTLE FACE AND OTHER STORIES by Jean Thompson

LITTLE FACE AND OTHER STORIES

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Two especially fluid stories of adolescence highlight this new, slightly disappointing collection from the author of The Gasoline Wars (1978), a memorable debut. The title story, jazzy with sensitivity, is about a 15-year-old girl's first physical liaison--with an older graduate student: the girl fervently wants to be taken advantage of, eager for any entry into the wider world of self-confidence and talk; the man is uncomfortable about the sexual and legal ramifications. And, in ""Danny's Chick,"" Thompson's sensitivity has a more apprehensive edge--as two teenagers try very hard in their interracial love affair, straining for a near-impossible naturalness and mirroring each other at every turn. As in The Gasoline Wars, Thompson again demonstrates her singular freedom as a writer here, her ability to change moods and subjective voices with ease and grace. This time, however, there's a dismayingly narrow range of material for Thompson to lavish her talent on: too many of the men-and-women stories hinge on an insecure woman's improvised reactions to a private, withdrawn lover or husband; too many of Thompson's heroines rehash old happiness with someone who's no longer capable of inspiring such glowing moments. Throughout, in fact, aside from those two above-mentioned standouts, Thompson's new stories involve more a mere mood or situation than a true tugging interaction between characters. And though this collection is clearly the work of a born storyteller, it suggests that Thompson needs fresh subject-matter to bring out her remarkable gifts.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1984
Publisher: Watts