From Publishers Weekly
This is a solid, if somewhat predictable, collection of short stories that were originally read on the National Public Radio program that Cheuse and Marshall produce. Although Michener posits that these are "the writers who will ultimately replace Saul Bellow and Eudora Welty," names like Ann Beattie and Paul Theroux are already more than familiar. John Edgar Wideman offers a surprising sketch in the voice of a baby thrown into an incinerator on the day it is born, and Jess Mowry portrays a TV-entranced boy who, in order to forget the abuse he has suffered, must forget everything, including his own name. But the other stories focus on small moments that change the lives of ordinary people. Pinckney Benedict's boy narrator risks ridicule when he follows his father's advice and takes some friends to a junkyard to see the petrified bodies of a family in a car. Ken Chowder's drifter finds himself fast-forwarding through the videotape of a close friend's funeral after having missed the real thing. Faye Moskowitz's high school teacher identifies women she sees on the streets of France with a former troubled student who ran away from home at 12 and had an abortion.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
This anthology of 37 stories by as many writers is the second volume compiled from The Sound of Writing , the half-hour radio program on National Public Radio. Aptly labeled America's "short story magazine of the air," the program showcases some of the nation's finest contemporary short fiction writers' work, read by actors. Now everyone can reread and savor the details of these diverse stories, representing a broad range of ethnic characters and regional settings. From Sandra Cisneros's explanation of why Alma Alvarado is crying to Richard McCann's photo-motif look at a troubled life, short story writing doesn't get any better than this; here we have an occasion to see, hear, and feel similarities in ourselves. A useful biographical paragraph on each contributor concludes the volume. Recommended for public and academic libraries.
- Cathy Sabol, Northern Virginia Community Coll., Manassas
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information