BODIES OF WATER by Rosanne Cash


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 This tiny first book of stories, with extra-wide margins, is a cut above most celebrity writing, and will even satisfy gossip- seekers with its thinly veiled autobiographical pieces about the pop singer's divorce from Rodney Crowell, her three children, and her own childhood as the daughter of a country music legend. There's a healthy dose of showbiz self-help nostrums and Hollywood mysticism in these often lyrical pieces. To wit, ``The Last Day of the Year'' finds the narrator, by now on the verge of divorce, celebrating New Year's Eve in Manhattan with her children and deciding ``to let go.'' ``The Arc of Loneliness'' meditates further on the topic, post-rehab and post-divorce. Other autobiographical tales include a womanist account of childbirth, a memory of taking acting classes, and a self-serving bit about life on the road (``Under the lights I can face the inconsistencies of my soul''). Cash's pure fictional work varies in quality: ``A Week at the Gore'' is a series of faxes from a middle-aged mother of two girls who understands her destiny (as a mother) while on vacation in England with her children. A divorced English teacher traveling in Paris discovers the meaning of womanhood as ``part girl and part suffering.'' Another female narrator (in the fabulistic ``Shelly's Voices'') flirts with insanity and dreams of previous lives and deaths. And in the best piece, ``Dinner,'' a woman of authority and in control, who's braced herself against surprise, is unhinged by the sight of a bleeding stranger. Occasionally sappy, but sometimes sharp and tough-minded (in a showbiz way): likely to be of interest to fans of the singer and Marianne Williamson. (Author tour)

Pub Date: March 21st, 1996
ISBN: 0-7868-6083-9
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Hyperion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1996