THAT'S MY BABY by Norma Klein


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We just don't know how to handle women,"" explains a Manhattan teen to the hero here, Paul Gold. ""One day we will, but now. . .we're neophytes."" In Klein's latest, 18-year-old Paul begins to figure it out. Paul is the son of divorced parents, and an aspiring playwright whose struggles to fashion life into art provide interest and irony when his ex-girlfriend, Sonya, discovers that he's used their groping sexual initiation as the material for a play. He's also funny, warm, and earnest--in short, pure Klein Y/A material. Paul takes a job walking a decrepit terrier for a lady who lives in his building; fortunately, the lady, 24-year-old Zoe Bernstein, turns out to be far more attractive than her dog. There ensues a year of torrid romance between them, with Zoe constantly worrying that her husband--who sells orthopedic shoes--will catch them going at it one morning before Paul makes his way off to high school. Meanwhile, Paul's play is yanked from the school drama program when uptight parents learn that it's about the ""s word""; his father remarries; and Paul is admitted to Swarthmore, Reed, and Sarah Lawrence, but rejected by Yale. Life becomes totally dismal when Zoe gets pregnant and shows him the door, but then Paul turns their liaison into a play; it's produced Off-Broadway, to mixed reviews. But that's show biz, decides the ever philosophical young man. More modern, urban teen turmoils, sugar-coated and only occasionally leavened by the candor of Klein's tone.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1988
Publisher: Viking