Description - New York Lonely by Rochelle Ratner
A Word About New York Lonely In this collection of stories, New York Lonely, the late Rochelle Ratner presents the distillation in breadth and depth of the questions that were most powerfully at work in both her unfolding as a remarkable individual and memorable poet and writer. There is a rare richness found in these tales, a vision composed of ironies and elegies, humor and unspeakable grief, as well as a grief that has learned how to speak, and when to remain silent as a presence in the room, like Lorca's duende. If I were to make the usual literary comparisons, I might say that one finds here the contextual mystery of Thomas Mann in combination with Tillie Olson's unblinking eye for the deep quotidian, gender fantastically rendered by Margret Atwood but here mediated by the shadow weave of Steven King. Except this work is here and now, all in the moment; it is compelling without violence, erotic but never prurient. The angles on what may have been covered before are here varied, and new. Consider: a young woman measures her unfolding relationship to her new boyfriend through a kitten he introduces to the reigning household cat, Delilah; a man intent on buying a car ends up trading in his wife; a dating service run by shrinks for the benefit of their clients; high school friends gathered at the funeral of a classmate who served in Iraq wonder about their lives as they examine old photos; a man selected for jury duty attempts to get close to a woman in the pool; a butcher talks about the world as he sees it through the eyes of one who kills and butchers chickens; a woman in a Greenwich Village restaurant with the price tag dangling from her sweater, becomes the subject of an imaginative rumination; and a woman still in the hospital recovering from a hysterectomy watches a TV soap about a woman who has delivered a still-born fetus. There is no doubt that the arc of these stories traces that of the author, who came to New York from Atlantic City as a woman in her early twenties, through the trials and adventures of her progress as a poet and writer who became familiar with the social fabric of the city from her own unique point of view, through the testing and risk taking of her unfolding emotional journey to find an enduring intimacy and marriage, and, finally, to her unblinking confrontation with her own mortality at the age of 59. New York Lonely is both a testament and a summation. In the end, the generosity of spirit and compassion familiar to all who knew her, hold the richness of the work like water in cupped hands. Paul Pines, Glens Falls, NY - 4.6.2014
Buy New York Lonely by Rochelle Ratner from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(229mm x 152mm x 10mm)
Publisher: Myrmaid Press
Book Reviews - New York Lonely by Rochelle Ratner