LOVE IS STRANGE by Joel Rose

LOVE IS STRANGE

Stories of Postmodern Romance
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Novelists Rose and Texier, editors of the now-defunct Between C & D, bring together 16 stories by writers who prowl ``the edges of human experience and literary form.'' After their breathless introduction, with its frequent use of the word ``edge,'' the editors turn to many of the writers best known from their Lower East Side magazine, all of whom testify to the peculiar nature of romance in a time of disease and safe sex. The two least sentimental pieces are by gay men. David Feinberg's ``Breaking Up with Roger'' is a sad, campy tale of love between two HIV-positive men with nothing in common except a race against time. And David Wojnarowicz's ``From the Diaries of a Wolf Boy'' chronicles the down-and-out (and risk-taking) escapades of a gay hustler. Pieces from William Vollmann's The Rainbow Stories and A.M. Homes's The Safety of Objects seem selected for their self- conscious weirdness. Likewise, fairly typical and incoherent excerpts from Barry Gifford and Kathy Acker. Darius James's self- explanatory ``The Blackman's Guide to Seducing White Women with the Amazing Power of Voodoo'' is not nearly as witty as his recent novel, Negrophobia. And Trey Ellis's tale of unrequited interracial romance leads nowhere slowly. Women attracted to the wrong kinds of men narrate Lynn McFall's ``Bitter Love'' (the heroine loses an eye in a poolroom catfight); Lisa Blaushild's ``Asking For It'' (a lonely woman writes a love letter to her unknown rapist); and Daytona Beach's ``The Kid'' (a 35-year-old woman looking for a man who can move like her vibrator seduces her girlfriend's 14-year-old son). David Foster Wallace's overly long saga of politically correct love (``Order and Flux in Northampton'') is as strained and sophomoric as his previous work. And the two stories by the editors are as ineptly written as their throwaway introduction. Last gasps from a dying (and never that vital) literary scene.

Pub Date: Feb. 14th, 1993
ISBN: 0-393-30965-7
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Norton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1992




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