Glass

Sam Savage, Author
Sam Savage. Coffee House (Consortium, dist.), $15 trade paper (210p) ISBN 978-1-56689-273
Ebook - 196 pages - 978-1-56689-291-9
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Like a milder Good Morning, Midnight, Savage's new novel (after The Cry of the Sloth) is driven by the dithering narration of a woman adrift in the world. In this case, however, the compulsive recollections and endless qualifications of Edna, a failed writer and the elderly widow of a marginal writer, amount to little of interest. Prompted by a reissue of her husband's one successful work, but writing with no clear purpose, Edna drifts between minute explanations of her current circumstances—the position of her furniture; the state of her grapes—to often vibrant, outsized memories of her privileged but troubled childhood and her bohemian life with her late husband. Her repeated scorn for him and his forgettable Hemingwayesque "outdoor stories," reveals her most notable trait: snobbishness. (On the other hand, he referred to her efforts as "Edna's remembrance of everything past.") There is little to hold on to but a general sense of solitude and depression. It's only toward the end, as Edna unravels, that any sense of real psychology develops. Early promise of mysterious affairs or incarcerations amounts to nothing, and the lack of structure on several levels (no chapters, for one), though true to character, contributes to the enervating effect. (Sept.)
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