INTRUSIONS by Ursula Hegi


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Megan Stone is a young West Hartford housewife with: two small children; a clear minded grandmother unfairly confined to a nursing home; an overbearing aunt who brought her up when Megan's parents were killed accidentally; and-above all--a creator named Ursula Hegi. Yes, folks, this is another one of those literary-games novels (cf., most recently, Out of Season, p. 89) with interplay between character and author. So, while Megan goes through most of the well-worn housewife-fiction stages-infatuation with the kids' pediatrician, cutting off long hair, dropping out temporarily to Nantucket by herself--she also maintains constant communication with the master of her fate, Hegi: ""You and your damn solitude. I'm drowning in it. Why do you want me to stay here? Because it fits into your plot? You have something planned for me for the next few days? I tell you one thing: I'm not going to walk on that wretched beach again."" And other ""intruders"" into the novelist's day include: Megan's husband Nick; Hegi's own children and husband; a fellow-writer urging her to spice up her manuscript with sex; even her writing students. Admittedly, Hegi serves up the author-character kibbitz routine in a fey and agreeably light manner (rather than the glum approach of Out of Season), but this is trampled territory that's been definitively staked out by the likes of Gilbert Sorrentino. And Megan's days are not sufficiently diverting in themselves to hold your interest (though Nick's competency when one of the kids has an accident while Megan is away makes a good, free-standing short story). A few gentle, amiable home-truths score--but not enough of them to justify Hegi's recycling of a second-hand, wildly obtrusive literary device.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1981
ISBN: 0684844818
Publisher: Viking