Available Light, Ellen Currie (Summit) “is about the separation and reunion of Kitty and Rambeau, two frazzled lovers approaching middle age. More essentially, it is about the battering that life has given to them and to the other characters, mostly Kitty’s family. . . . (Ellen) Currie gives us no still center, but the entrancing ricochets of a character (Kitty) who darts, determined and half-blinded, into life” (Richard Eder).
The Golden Gate: A Novel in Verse, Vikram Seth (Random House). “Mesmerized, we watch, as in a kaleidoscope, the shifting and resettling patterns of five lives . . . . (Vikram Seth’s fluency in verse-form) probably hasn’t been heard in English since Alexander Pope went around letting heroic couplets effortlessly tumble from his lips” (X. J. Kennedy).
The Pull, Bobby Jack Nelson (St. Martin’s) focuses on Bud, “a poor country boy just shy of 15, who has been taken from a comfortable if uneventful life by his true father. . . . An adroit picture of poignancy, wisdom and brutality, filled with attitudes and advice that show us how to endure the pulls in our own lives” (Shelly Lowenkopf).
The Pushcart Prize, X: Best of the Small Presses, edited by Bill Henderson (Pushcart); TQ: Twenty Years of the Best Contemporary Writing and Graphics From Triquarterly, edited by Reginald Gibbons and Susan Hahn (Pushcart). “The annual Pushcart Anthology . . . will probably be here to help the interested reader to sample across (the) vast smorgasbord of new American writing, not all of it satisfying, but all of it fresh. . . . ‘Triquarterly’ at its best--and its best certainly comes together in these hardcovers--is an integral part of a literate person’s library, the magazine to look for when seeking first-rate new fiction” (Alan Cheuse).