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FICTION

LOW FLYING AIRCRAFT: Stories by T. M. McNally (University of Georgia Press: $17.95; 163 pp.). T. M. McNally won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction for this collection of interrelated stories, but this reviewer, at least, sees more smoke than fire. The writing is agreeably cool and understated (except in the first story, “Peru,” which is coarsely melodramatic) but McNally doesn’t give his characters much to work with; he shows much technical skill, infusing the fictional environment with mystery, history, and apparent meaning, but to no discernible end. Each of the 14 stories is a puzzle piece, and although a few have some intrinsic interest, the picture that emerges from them is generic and familiar.


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