Strange Business

Rilla Askew, Author, Rilla Askey, Author Viking Books $20 (208p) ISBN 978-0-670-84259-9
The regional voices in these 11 interrelated, canny stories are protean and riveting as they record the ``strange business'' of death and the fleetingness of life in the fictional town of Cedar, Okla. Opening with Native American recollections of bloody strife among whites and several Choctaw factions in 1892, debut author Askew titles each subsequent tale with a year from 1961 to 1986. The white settlers' descendants, young and old, are heard from. Little Cephus of ``1964'' covets a playmate's pet raccoon and dreams it has died. Self-conscious teenager Lyla Mae cringes on her awkward first date with a boy she met at Bible camp (``1967''); in ``1968,'' she crawls from her window with her worldlier California cousin Nikki to drive with the town youths till dawn. In ``1981,'' an old man speaks tenderly from beyond the grave about his wife's farewell at his funeral. Emerging gradually over three stories is the figure of D. H. DeWitt, first seen in ``1968'' as he roars through the streets in his pickup truck, egging Lyla Mae and Nikki to steal watermelons and landing in jail. A hung-over D. H. attends the funeral of a friend killed in Vietnam (``1970''), while ``1983'' sees a fatuous, lonely D.H., now a snake wrangler, toting his unpredictable pet into a bar to shock the patrons--with catastrophic results. In unfolding this fertile character especially, Askew reveals tantalizing novelistic potential. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/29/1992
Release date: 07/01/1992
Show other formats
FORMATS
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-0-14-016595-1
Paperback - 191 pages - 978-0-8061-4028-5
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.