SEASONS SUCH AS THESE: Two Novels by Natalie Petesch


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Two small novels for the price of one big one--but really no bargain. The Leprosarium posits a future in which a big-brother company called Vita will run the entire show. Deviate from the bland norm at any point and you find yourself a ""leper,"" institutionalized, deprogrammed in Maximum Gregariousness chambers, punished by ""the Rundmarch""--a run backwards on a sand track meant to break the spirit--and in time graduated back into society. When a director of this nefariousness finds his wife playing tickle with another Grievance Adjuster, the master is mastered. Some very pruned, tidied up prose is expended over this thin scenario. The Long Hot Summer of Yasha K. runs more realistically. It deals with a white doctor in Detroit who, hospitalized for tuberculosis during World War II, grows up with a surfeit of untapped responsibility, which he showers upon blacks. But when his black mistress, Liza, becomes pregnant, Dr. Yasha demands an abortion--how can she think of bringing another black baby into this vale of tears? Liza goes through with it. then kicks Yasha out and becomes a Muslim. Petesch (After the First Death There Is No Other) is obviously intensely concerned with her prose; but the awkward stories she means to tell with it don't deserve all that word-byword fussing.

Pub Date: March 15th, 1979
Publisher: Swallow Press