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Black Warrior Review - Vol 30 No 2

Spring/summer 2004

A common approach mysteriously unites the short fiction in this spring/summer issue of Black Warrior Review. Each of the six stories here possesses a similar obliqueness, a diagonal narrative attack that lends the characters and events an alluring inscrutability. Cary Holladay’s “The Green Children,” set in 1928, angles in on Vangie, a young chambermaid in a southern hotel, who is hopelessly in love with a professional magician and yet finds herself engaged to a senescent Civil War veteran. Vangie’s fate seems overhung by a strange sense of inevitability, even if the reader, like Vangie herself, is never sure just what exactly is portended. “Neighbors,” by Anne Germanacos, is comprised of the scattered first-person musings of an American woman living a rural life in Greece. Her piecemeal reflections about the village folk around her, unexplained as they are, have an authentic opacity, as if we’ve just stumbled into a story long since begun. By far my favorite piece here is Peter Orner’s fugue-like treatment of memory and the ways we manipulate it for social leverage or self-justification: “Herb and Rosalie Swanson at the Cocoanut Grove.” A definite candidate for whatever short fiction prizes are as yet unclaimed this year. Also featured are seven luscious full-color prints by the strikingly original printers, Stern & Faye, as well as an impressionistic poetry chapbook and a wealth of poems by 17 poets. [Black Warrior Review, Box 862936, Tuscaloosa, AL 35486. E-mail: . Single issue $8.] – MC

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Review Posted on June 30, 2004

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