HERS: Brilliant New Fiction by Lesbian Writers by Terry with Robert Drake--Eds. Wolverton

HERS: Brilliant New Fiction by Lesbian Writers

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Twenty-one stories by some of America's most promising lesbian writers--for a discerning literary audience of all genders and orientations. Assembled by Wolverton and Drake (Indivisible, 1991, not reviewed), this first contribution to what will be an annual series of companion anthologies (His will be available in September 1995) is surprisingly consistent in quality while varying wildly in subject matter and style. Themes run the gamut from childhood loss of innocence to adolescent coming-out experiences, breast cancer, women in the military, life as a car saleswoman, and turmoil in the Middle East; what the most memorable pieces share though, is an ability to convey universal truth in an uncommon way. In Elise D'Haene's ""Self-Deliverance,"" two women--friends and sometimes lovers--help a mutual friend who is dying of AIDS to commit a dignified suicide. The message is a poignant (if arguable) one: It's not about who you love, it's about how you love. Hildie V. Krause's ""Mrs. Yakamoto Comes to Stay"" features a lesbian in a green-card marriage who breaks down and confesses the sham when she's left alone with her Japanese mother-in-law. Mrs. Yakamoto not only keeps the secret but teaches her daughter-in-law that stereotypes are never as complicated as the real people they pigeonhole. ""Campers,"" by Eloise Klein Healey, treats a ""relationship on vacation"" story with humor, tension, and an unexpected twist, and Jane Thurmond's ""The Great Baptism"" explores a brief and unusual relationship through an evocative metaphor and a flood of water imagery. Only a few disappoint: Wendy Frisch's ""E=mc"" is mindlessly frivolous, and Robin Podolsky's ""Joshua"" tries too hard. But, mostly, it's the strength of the voices that lingers. An eclectic, charismatic collection with just a few dissonant clunkers.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1995
Page count: 206pp
Publisher: Faber & Faber