Because I am a writer who's been published by small...

I'm Reading ...

October 05, 1997|By ELISABETH STEVENS

Because I am a writer who's been published by small presses, I tend to read books by university and small presses. Those publishers are giving something - some great literary works - we can't get elsewhere.

I'm re-reading Josephine Jacobsen's "Collected Works," which is published by Johns Hopkins University Press. ... There's one story I particularly like, "Nel bagno." It's about a women who's going on a trip but gets stuck in a bathroom before she departs. There's this moment when she realizes that everyone will think she's already left, so no one will rescue her. It's an intense story; it really shows Jacobsen's talent. I think in both her fiction and her poetry, her talent is for compression. She does not waste a word.

And a book of fiction, "Women in Their Beds," by Gina Berriault. Her stories tend to be about street people or seemingly unimportant people. My favorite is about Zenobia, the wronged wife from "Ethan Frome." She takes her point of view of the situation. ...

Also "Memory's Glass," by William Fox Conner published by Pocahantas Press. It's about growing up on a farm in Virginia, it reads like memoirs from Robert Frost - it has that kind of feel.

Elisabeth Stevens' latest collection is "In Foreign Parts: Nine Stories," published this month by Birch Book Press. The Baltimore resident and former Sun art critic, has illustrated all five of her books.

Pub Date: 10/05/97

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