NINE WOMEN: Short Stories by Shirley Ann Grau

NINE WOMEN: Short Stories

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As titled, nine stories, each about another woman--some poor but more rich, some black but more white (though some of the black seem white); and each story and each woman poetic in a fleeting way. These are works about disappearance, about ending. In ""Hunter,"" a woman loses her family but miraculously herself survives a terrible air-crash; thereafter she flies constantly--looking for the same crack in time that allowed her to escape death. . .but now wanting in, to be able to join her husband and children. In ""Letting-Go,"" a divorcing young woman stops trying to matter to her monstrously self-absorbed old parents--a particularly fine, bitter story. In ""Home,"" a lesbian couple--two professional women--face the crisis that follows the wish of the younger one to bear a child, to have something of her own that will continue beyond the now; and in ""Housekeeper,"" a widow goes to work for a retired doctor, a man who literally uses himself up in successive hobbies and pursuits. Less successful are the simply scenic stories: ""Ending""--a wealthy black family recovering from a wedding: pure soap opera; and ""Summer Shore""--a rich summer colony's last alcoholic bash of the season. Grau isn't as good a social chronicler as she is a luminist of single lives. Still--on the whole, solid, unflashy, satisfying work by a veteran writer.

Pub Date: Jan. 20th, 1985
Publisher: Knopf