Searoad: Chronicles of Klatsand

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9780060167400: Searoad: Chronicles of Klatsand

Searoad: Chronicles Of Klatsand, by Le Guin, Ursula K.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

Various private lives in an Oregon seaside village are pried open for inspection in this winning example of Le Guin's best writing--meditative, perceptive, and dead-on in its characterizations. Welcome to Klatsand, a typical American beachside community whose medley of small-town voices combine to form a timeless, penetrating novel in the classic Le Guin tradition. Tales of Klatsanders--the discouraged middle-aged couple who operate the run-down tourist court outside of town; the aging businessman whose weekend on the beach brings him face to face with his own mortality; the passionately self-reliant professor who brings her fatherless daughter home to grow up sheltered by her past; the aging librarian who indulges in a brief affair with the local bookstore owner--all start small but grow to a powerful crescendo as the town's complex entanglement of small-town loyalties, betrayals, and generations-old resentments comes clear. Le Guin performs best with her female characters--particularly the four generations of Hernes women who, from the late 1800's to the present, scandalize the town with divorce, unwed motherhood, and other forms of unheard-of independence, and whose tale of matriarchal determination occupies the final third of the book. Ending in a defiant retelling of the Persephone myth, the Hernes' story perfectly echoes and enhances the smaller tales that preceded it, making for some deeply satisfying reading--rich, warm, and as easy on the soul as an afternoon on the beach. Another triumph. -- Copyright 1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

In these stories, connected loosely but powerfully by their rugged Pacific Northwest setting, LeGuin ( Buffalo Gals ; The Left Hand of Darkness ) portrays residents of a small Oregon shore town with sympathy and no sentiment. Many of the tales center around women drawn together in threes--mother, daughter, grandmother--by illness or death. Passionate, independent and questioning, these characters generally choose, sooner or later, personal freedom over convention, but not without pain. In "True Love," a librarian who summers in Klatsand has a brief affair with a man who opens a bookstore, but is most moved by her feeling of kinship with another woman he sleeps with. Mourning with her deceased lover's daughter, the "survivor" of a lesbian couple finds comfort in an unexpected sense of connection among the three of them ("Quoits"). The novella-length "Hernes" authoritatively traces the repeated struggles for love and self-reliance among four generations of Klatsand women, from Fanny, born in Ohio in 1863, to her great-granddaughter Virginia, a poet. Idiosyncratic and convincing, LeGuin's characters have a long afterlife.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Guin, Ursula K. Le
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ISBN 10: 0060167408 ISBN 13: 9780060167400
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