The Wave and Other Stories

Overview

"Gussoff has a good eye for detail...A tautly written, haunting tale of loneliness, alienation, and lost hopes and dreams."?Kirkus Reviews

"Deals insightfully and unsentimentally with the issues the Jerry Springer show frequently airs, showing how seemingly normal families nourish the impulse for self-destruction."?Scotland on Sunday

The stories in Sight Unseen map out the tangled webs of love, dependency and identity among a cast of fragile, ...

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Overview

"Gussoff has a good eye for detail...A tautly written, haunting tale of loneliness, alienation, and lost hopes and dreams."—Kirkus Reviews

"Deals insightfully and unsentimentally with the issues the Jerry Springer show frequently airs, showing how seemingly normal families nourish the impulse for self-destruction."—Scotland on Sunday

The stories in Sight Unseen map out the tangled webs of love, dependency and identity among a cast of fragile, bruised characters. A dying recluse is torn between her mother and the pursuit of pain and a younger sister unleashes a terrible revenge when her virginity is traded for drugs.

The author of Homecoming, Caren Gussoff grew up in New York. She has an MFA in writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She now organizes online support groups for the chronically ill and lives in Seattle.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A strong novella and ten stories twisted and wrung dry. The inspired title novella, with a nod to Woolf's The Waves, tells (in second person) of You's lust for the glam life of Allison Victor, a girl You's own age: "We were bound together in the sorority of poor childhoods, mild neglect, when promises are but puffs of air that carry us off with the power of tornados." Both are addicted to schemes of escape. Allison rises from her cigarette-girl job at the Bump to writing a column for the New York Press for a year, then to a Village Voice column and, by small steps, upward to a Sundance scholarship. You, a poet, wins a Young Poets award of $5,000 for a first book, moves to Seattle with an actor boyfriend. She follows Allison's life online through Allison's Journal, which is at times well written enough to suggest that she is You's Dostoevskian double, especially when Allison is spied on a Seattle bus and writes weather-soaked online laments. Allison's strong memory: swimming underwater in the half-size Olympic pool out front of a motel run by her parents in a New York City suburb. Without warning, like Woolf's Orlando changing sex, You has become Allison. Or is You still the poet Olive Halliday-Queen whom You spots from a bus seat? Mixed identities indeed! The story ends with a very big nod to Woolf. Among the shorts, "Stealing Purses"-about a woman, dumped by her boyfriend, who takes up stealing purses as if their contents will explain something (she always mails the purses back, everything intact)-has its attractions but remains strange, undertold, half-strangled. Others feature quirky, depressed heroines, sometimes heavy drinkers, their lives sifting through their fingers. From "SurfaceReading": "Sometimes I talk to photographs of myself. I ask them if they know we are going to die." Little deaths in the rain, in a first collection from novelist Gussoff (Homecoming, 2000).
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781852424596
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail Publishing Ltd
  • Publication date: 3/1/2002
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

The Wave: A Novella 1
Stealing Purses 91
Surface Reading 97
Spark 103
Astronaut 123
Unpretty 129
Bruce Lee 133
The Deepest Dive 141
Djinni 147
Love Story 153
Sight Unseen 175
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