THE WIND SHIFTING WEST by Shirley Ann Grau

THE WIND SHIFTING WEST

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Eighteen stories (the first Grau collection) published from 1955 on, which exhibit both the extensions and limitations of the author's established talents. A handful of the stories seem dated: those remnants from the ""vignette"" school -- in which the reader scans for the one radioactive line which will make seemingly random events potent; and there are those worthy tales which probe the sad betrayals of racial bigotry before black consciousness dictated a new approach to white writers. However this is still an impressive collection. Miss Grau builds import and atmosphere beginning with her opening lines, usually an abrupt entry into the mind of her central characters -- lonely women, anxious adolescents, men and women trapped by circumstance or their own limited vision. There is a short story excised from The Condor Passes (1971); the excellent ""The Patriarch"" in which a selfish and callously egocentric life is given a mocking weight by the accumulation of years; two tales of terror (a night killing by a good and meek man; a science fiction morality of doomsday seen from ""The Last Gas Station""); a widow's tale where a dead husband is a companion in a second marriage, and the title story in which extramarital dalliance is as disappointingly transitory as a wind shift (""There isn't much left when it's done""). A successful retrospective.

Pub Date: Nov. 5th, 1973
Publisher: Knopf