NOBODY SAY A WORD by Mark Van Doren


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These short stories by the poet and critic have a sensitive imprint, are perhaps more suggestive than incisive, and record an immediate moment of experience within the shadow of its larger implications. In the title story, a woman's desertion by her husband is underlined by the catechism of her children; a hotel room marriage is haunted by a premonition of death; a man is denied the satisfaction of a long revenge; the cultivated serenity of a middle-aged marriage avoids the passion which it had outgrown but outlasted; a man's nights are ridden by the disappointment in his son that he has tried to conceal by day; these and others are concluded with a sequence of fairy tales to which the upsweep of good fortune and virtue rewarded lends its enchantment.... The medium here does not command a substantial market, but these stories have a gentle attraction for the more selective render.

Publisher: Henry Holt