Friday, March 31

Black Tickets - Jayne Anne Phillips (1979)

"Of the almost 30 short fictions collected here, there are about 10 beauties and 10 that are perfectly satisfying and then there are 10 ditties- some of them, single paragraphs- that are so small, isolated and mere exercises in 'good writing' that they detract from the way the best of this book glows. Jayne Anne Phillips is a wonderful young writer, concerned with every sentence and seemingly always operating out of instincts that are visceral and true- perceived and observed originally, not imitated or fashionably learned. ... Someone in a writing class would have liked the brilliant 'tone'; someone certainly would have loved the strangeness; and the careful prose would have been picked over, lovingly. As an occasional teacher of creative writing, I no doubt would have joined in the praise. But too many of these miniatures, these show-off pieces, mar the rougher and more wholly rendered stories in this book. ..."
NY Times: Stories With Voiceprints By JOHN IRVING
W - Black Tickets