Society of Friends: Stories

Society of Friends: Stories

by Kelly Cherry

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
"All any of us can do is the best we can do." Like most of the earnest, overeducated, cappuccino-drinking characters in these 13 stories, set in Madison, Wis., Shelley, a nurse who discovers that her daughter is gay ("Not the Phil Donohue Show"), is steadfastly if wryly determined to make the best of her confusing late-20th-century existence. The collection's central figure and protagonist of six of these stories, writer and professor Nina Bryant, lives with her adopted daughter Tavy and her adorable dog Oscar. Coping with the death of both parents (not to mention her father's return from the grave in "As It Is in Heaven"), and her memories of her abuse as a child, she finally finds a man she can count on in "Love in the Middle Ages." Nina's neighbors include Guy, a struggling bookstore owner who worries that his wife will leave him for her lesbian best friend ("Tell Her"); Conrad, whose wife and son died suddenly and who has retreated into a world of household duties ("Chores"); Larry, who faces a divorce ("How It Goes"); and a performance artist named Jazz who struggles to maintain a relationship with her overbearing mother ("Lunachick"). Cherry experiments with form, with mixed results--"Love in the Middle Ages" interlaces courtly scenes told in an awkward modern idiom with straightforward exposition--and her prose is elaborately overworked (one man's pink beard is "like a strawberry milk shake glued to his face"). Dialogue, too, is hit-or-miss and sometimes too arch. Nevertheless, Cherry speaks to the hearts of a particular privileged and yet angst-ridden contemporary subspecies, settled in university towns across the country. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

University of Missouri Press
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.06(h) x 0.64(d)

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