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Dra- (New American Fiction) Paperback – November 1, 2000
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Dra___ is powered by Stacey Levine's keen ear for the oddities of everyday speech. In her short fiction (collected in the award-winning My Horse and Other Stories) as in her day-to-day life (I've known her both as a columnist for this paper and as a close friend over the last five years) Levine delights in the peculiar logic of "normal conversation." Minor concerns such as plot, characterization, even practical discussions, get undermined by the pleasure she takes in phrases like "in the name of living hell" or "for the love of nonsense," and by her fascination with the sink-hole of sudden intimacy that swallows up so many casual exchanges. In Dra___, the imperatives of plot and thematic resolution have been displaced by the demanding logic of everyday conversation.
As a consequence, this Wonderland has none of the arch word-play or punning that afflicted Alice. Instead, people speak as directly as they know how. Like Miss Goering and Miss Gamelon in Jane Bowles' comic masterpiece Two Serious Ladies, the figures in Dra___ burden one another with very plain declarations of their real concerns.Read more ›
None of this describes the reading experience of plowing through this long-novella length work; it's a joy to read, and so prose-poetic, you could probably break parts out and call them poems.
Never mind about that. Settle in, and let Ms. Levine show you a post-modern, modern World! You'll be glad you did.