The title of this collection of 14 elegant, nostalgic stories is ironic; all of these tales are precisely situated in real-life situations and dilemmas. Often the narrator is a divorced man, ruefully and unsuccessfully trying to reestablish old connections. In ``Hurricane Charlie,'' a divorced father futilely awaiting his daughter's visit, is made acutely aware of the power children have to inflict pain. The situation is reversed in ``Parents' Day,'' with another divorced father who forces his son to attend the boarding school where he himself was once so miserable. In ``Conflations,'' an on-target evocation of a family party, a nephew realizes that in his ancient uncle's eyes he has become his father: ``If I am here, his late brother is not absolutely absent.'' These stories depict the contradictions in our lives, the subterranean conflicts that nag us, the sudden illuminations that come to us as, willy-nilly, we lead the only lives we can. Slavitt ( Lives of the Saints ) has assembled a splendid Chekhovian feast. (Nov.)
Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.42 (d)
Meet the Author
David R. Slavitt is the author of some three dozen books of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. Among his novels are Lives of the Saints, Salazar Blinks, Alice at 80, and The Hussar. His recent poetry collections include Eight Longer Poems, Equinox and Other Poems, and The Walls of Thebes.