Findley exposes the sharp changes in the traditional institutions of love andmarriage and family through a vivid terrain of images and insightful stories.10,000 print.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyEdgar Award winner Findley's ( The Telling of Lies ) short stories leap from one crucial and vivid glimpse to another, building tension almost to the level of a Hitchcock movie, yet the author is also adept at a slower and more linear narrative style. The center of emotional gravity in the Toronto that Findley, a native, depicts is the Mental Health Centre on Queen Street. Its wards and its patients fascinate these protagonists, and the meaning of their lives grows out of their relationship to sanity and insanity. A number of characters experience what one narrator calls ``psychotic withdrawal,'' and several are psychiatrists or social workers. But Findley refuses to give psychology and its reasonable explanations the last word: instead, madness shares an unmarked border with passion and creativity; although failures to distinguish dream from reality can prove dangerous, Findley implies, forever separating the two can be deadening. The nine tales here explore similar situations from varied points of view, ultimately yielding a richly satisfying range of perspectives. (Feb.)
Library JournalIn these nine stories, set mostly in Toronto, Findley does for his native city something of what Joyce did for Dublin. Probing the dark corners of the psyche, he exposes the fears and repressions of the city's inhabitants. The stories often involve characters who suddenly be come aware of the irrationality lurking beneath their well-ordered lives. In ``Dreams,'' a workaholic psychiatrist recognizes his identification with a schizophrenic patient through a series of bloody nightmares. In ``The Sky,'' a successful executive is driven nearly to madness by fear of his wife's infidelity. In contrast is the significantly named Minna Joyce, a writer who appears in two of the stories. Escaping a repressive family, she goes to live among the city's insane and unwanted, dedicating her life and art to ``the overthrow of silence.'' These are powerful, well-honed stories. Highly recommended.-- Lawrence Rungren, Bedford Free P.L., Mass.
- Random House Publishing Group
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)
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