COLLECTED STORIES by Mark Van Doren

COLLECTED STORIES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Forty-one short stories by an accomplished and well-loved writer in many genres include three which have never appeared in book form before. Van Doren is the quiet poet of the chance encounter, the transitory moment captured-- usually so on the part of a man in pensive middle age. In If Lizzie Tells, for example, a mature man away from home dreams of saving a young girl next door from himself. On returning to the community where he and his wife are established citizens, however, he meets her and makes a gesture which horrifies him no less than her. Of the stories not previously published, in The Bees a husband leaves his bride and returns to find her dead; Only on Rainy Nights and The Only Bottomless Things both probe murders committed in momentary irritation, and in each the emphasis is on the impulse rather than its consequence. Keyed to the reflective, gently symbolic, always a little surprised at the irrationality of human behavior, these stories have a consistent mood as well as quality-Van Doren's technique is rarely less than perfect.

Publisher: Hill & Wang