"Solo Spinout," by Ann Nietzke. Soho Press. 189 pages...

Book Brief

July 28, 1996|By Michael Harris | Michael Harris,Los Angeles Times

"Solo Spinout," by Ann Nietzke. Soho Press. 189 pages. $22

Edgy characters. Characters on edge. Characters on the edge of middle age, menopause, unemployment. Women who live in "Mexikorea," on the frayed eastern edge of Los Angeles' Westside, who have ex-husbands or boyfriends but are edging their way into lesbianism. These are the people Ann Nietzke writes about in this novella and three shorter stories.

The title of one of the stories, "Solo Spinout," uses traffic-report jargon as a metaphor for their lives. What's it like when you spin out of the lane that was supposed to take you where you were supposed to be going? You are uninjured, you think, but dizzy. Should you try to slip back into the flow or make a different sort of life for yourself on the shoulder of the road?

Her prose is richly descriptive and even her shorter pieces have room for the outrageous secondary characters.

Pub Date: 7/28/96

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