Fever: Twelve Stories

Fever: Twelve Stories

by John Edgar Wideman
     
 

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By turns subtle and intense, disturbing and elusive, the stories in this collection are ultimately connected by themes of memory and loss, reality and fabrication, and by a richless of language that rests lightly on its carefully foundation.See more details below

Overview

By turns subtle and intense, disturbing and elusive, the stories in this collection are ultimately connected by themes of memory and loss, reality and fabrication, and by a richless of language that rests lightly on its carefully foundation.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Of the 12 stories in Wideman's wide-ranging new collection, six have never been previously published, and most are standouts. Wideman excels in a variety of prose styles, adopting the points of view of both black and white characters, telling some stories entirely in dialogue, others in unrelieved exposition. He is expert in pinpointing the precise details that conjure up a character or a place; just as economically, he can turn in a twinkling into fantasy, with a wild surmise that jolts the reader's imagination. In the disquieting ``The Statue of Liberty,'' a woman jogger's stream of consciousness segues into a sexually provocative dream sequence. ``Valaida'' is a graceful blending of voices, in which an elderly concentration-camp survivor tries to communicate with his longtime cleaning lady, telling her of the legendary black jazz musician who saved his life. The title story, a harrowing account of the epidemic of yellow fever in Philadelphia in 1893, is the most imaginative of all, hypnotically drawing the reader into the mind of a black assistant to the noted Dr. Rush. In all the stories, Wideman's richly evocative, disciplined prose compels attention. (Nov.)
Library Journal
In this collection Wideman shows he knows how to give a story place in both physical and psychic terms. In ``Rock River'' he lays out a mangy dog of a town tucked somewhere in the foothills of the Southwest. Here suicide seems as much a part of the terrain as the ``thickets of boulders,'' dry riverbeds, and dusty roads that define the hopelessness of the landscape. In ``Concert,'' place is primarily the self, as the narrator (who remains unidentified) unravels an interior monologue that becomes the warp upon which the strains of a musical performance are woven. Wideman also shows he has a wide range of voices: several of the stories are told from a child's point of view and one from that of a hip literary critic. There are echoes of Faulkner in the post-Joycean narrative methods and revelations of consciousness. This is the kind of adventuresome writing that keeps one awake.-- Francis Poole, Kentucky Wesleyan Coll., Owensboro

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140143478
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/28/1990
Series:
Contemporary American Fiction Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
1,433,458
Product dimensions:
5.16(w) x 7.76(h) x 0.37(d)

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