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Nine Women

Nine Women

by Shirley Ann Grau, Robert Gottlieb (Editor)

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Infrequent in appearance, Grau's books are always an occasion for celebration. The nine stories in this new collectionall with a woman as their central characterconfirm her as a writer of keen psychological insight and luminously resonating prose. Grau's sensibility has an amazing range: outside of the Southern heritage they share, her women inhabit different social, economic and cultural worlds. ``Hunter'' concerns the only survivor of a plane crash that kills her family, who thereafter pursues her own surcease. Marvelously restrained, with every word polished to a burning clarity, the story engulfs and mesmerizes the reader. In ``Ending,'' the wedding of the daughter of an affluent black couple signals the dissolution of their marriage and exposes the disillusion that has eroded their upwardly mobile lives. Perfect in pitch and tone, ``Home'' captures an emotional confrontation between two women who are lovers, but ends in a reaffirmation of their vital connection. Grau's gently ironic sympathy permeates these tales. Though little overt action occurs, the forces that tether people to responsibilities, to rituals and traditions, to family loyalties, and, most tellingly, to life, are gracefully illumined. Franklin Library First Edition Society selection. January 20
Library Journal - Library Journal
Grau's short stories are peopled by men and women who embrace habit and tradition. But while their rituals comfort, they also mask communication. The parents who live on a rigid schedule in ``Letting Go'' cannot talk to their daughter; the wedding ceremony in ``Ending'' also marks the end of the parents' marriage; and a yearly Labor Day clambake in ``Summer Shore'' is more a celebration of superficial ``summer friends'' than of the end of the season. Unfortunately, the style does not measure up to Grau's previous work: the quality of the dialogue is uneven, the prose marred by cliches and repetitive metaphors. From the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Keepers of the House, these stories are disappointing. Lucinda Ann Peck, Learning Design Associates, Gahanna, Ohio

Product Details

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
Southern Writers Series
Edition description:
1st Trade ed

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