LOOKING FOR ATLANTA by Marilyn Dorn Staats


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 A quasi-comic debut novel about an aging Atlantan debutante- -or, as she and the girls who grew up a generation ago in the city's ``right'' white neighborhood were called, a ``Buckhead Pink.'' This one's named Margaret Hunter Bridges, and things are not going well. A thin, young medical technologist has stolen her husband of 23 years, and he's a divorce lawyer who's giving her a raw deal: Abandoned at 41, Margaret can't think straight enough to keep from signing the separation papers without reading them, and simply can't contemplate getting a job--the Buckhead Garden Club's all she knows. Also, her daughter recently died while swinging from a vine in the woods, while her son, Jimmy, has shaved half his head and put a safety pin through his ear. She's got an old friend with terminal cancer, a lot of guilt, and a predilection for Muddy Waters--milk and rum on the rocks. So Margaret climbs on the roof to chat with Harold, the black gardener who's been with her for years. There, she writes in her journal and contemplates the city skyline, beneath which a serial murderer is currently killing Atlanta's black children. In her very thick fog, she takes on responsibility for that as well, since she admits to herself that she never questioned the racism around her. And so, before at last coming down, she says, ``Oh, Harold Booker Washington! All my life I've meant to tell you I am just extremely...extremely...sorry.'' Tonally schizophrenic. Nora Ephron still has this territory covered.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-8203-1470-6
Page count: 232pp
Publisher: Univ. of Georgia
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1992