Lost Women, Banished Souls: Stories

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9780826210739: Lost Women, Banished Souls: Stories
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In Lost Women, Banished Souls, Garnett Kilberg Cohen captures the voices of a variety of women who share one main characteristic--the sense of loss. Although most of these women are like the ones we see every day without giving much thought to the undercurrents of their lives, Cohen shows us how women who appear ordinary on the surface often live extraordinary private lives. With the activities and relationships of her stories' characters, Cohen demonstrates how fragile life is, how everyday decisions can change the direction of one's life, and how much more painful our failures of ourselves can be than our failures to meet others' expectations.

Cohen's characters are honest about the pains they feel. In "Cousin Rina's Return," the story's narrator describes her sense of loss when her own transition from child to teenager changes the magical view she held of her cousins. "Guests" deals with the permanent scars left on one woman's mind and identity by the experience of multiple rape. In the title story the main character, confronting the painful loss of a longtime friend, realizes that her life has been filled with a sequence of lost friends.

These stories also explore such social issues as domestic violence, teenage pregnancy, and child-rearing after divorce. Cohen's language ranges from lyrical evocations of the past to the informal, conversational style of folk tradition.

Lost Women, Banished Souls introduces an author who has the rare ability to describe honestly and beautifully the struggles within the souls of her varied female characters.

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About the Author:

Garnett Kilberg Cohen's stories have appeared in such publications as American Fiction, Literary Review, Ontario Review, and Descant. Cohen is Professor of English at Columbia College in Chicago.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A first collection of 13 stories, all from a woman's point of view, all featuring domestic themes. In the title piece, a sorrowful woman recollects the lives of her female friends from childhood to maturity; each of the vignettes is sharply realized but inconclusive. Cohen's subtle ``Fabric'' concerns a middle-aged woman's last desperate attempt to hold onto her husband; the fabric of her life is unraveling, leaving her both poor and alone. In the most winning, and hopeful, of these efforts, ``Maps,'' a woman who is dating a man from a family of unmarried brothers marvels at how the men never talk of anything personal, but merely of highways and routes. Finally, she pointedly questions one of them, asking whether he has a girlfriend. He says he does, and proceeds to describe the route to her house in Ohio. In ``Guests,'' an abusive husband hauls his wife, Amber, off to a New York talk show on which couples discuss their sexual problems--making for a nice premise, except that Cohen opts for such a modest, stylized denouement that it's hard to care about Amber, a mere victim who learns nothing from her adventure. Women like Amber appear in several of these stories, and the better-educated, middle-class, politically correct women who comprise most of Cohen's narrators have a curious, vexed relationship with them. In ``Cousin Rina's Return,'' for instance, a woman in labor has a vision of her beautiful dead cousin, a hillbilly, and the experience seems to offer a curious kind of solace. Similarly, in ``From an Eyelash,'' a woman grieving for her dead child recalls her roommate in the maternity ward: Mavis, a woman who knew precisely who she was. But even this most interesting aspect of Cohen's collection--the contrast between a sophisticated woman and her blue-collar alter ego--is less than it might be. Cohen has talent--her work has appeared in publications like American Fiction and Literary Review--but she's still searching for structure and shape. -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Book Description University of Missouri Press, United States, 1996. Paperback. Condition: New. New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In Lost Women, Banished Souls, Garnett Kilberg Cohen captures the voices of a variety of women who share one main characteristic--the sense of loss. Although most of these women are like the ones we see every day without giving much thought to the undercurrents of their lives, Cohen shows us how women who appear ordinary on the surface often live extraordinary private lives. With the activities and relationships of her stories characters, Cohen demonstrates how fragile life is, how everyday decisions can change the direction of one s life, and how much more painful our failures of ourselves can be than our failures to meet others expectations. Cohen s characters are honest about the pains they feel. In Cousin Rina s Return, the story s narrator describes her sense of loss when her own transition from child to teenager changes the magical view she held of her cousins. Guests deals with the permanent scars left on one woman s mind and identity by the experience of multiple rape. In the title story the main character, confronting the painful loss of a longtime friend, realizes that her life has been filled with a sequence of lost friends. These stories also explore such social issues as domestic violence, teenage pregnancy, and child-rearing after divorce. Cohen s language ranges from lyrical evocations of the past to the informal, conversational style of folk tradition. Lost Women, Banished Souls introduces an author who has the rare ability to describe honestly and beautifully the struggles within the souls of her varied female characters. Seller Inventory # AAN9780826210739

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Book Description University of Missouri Press, United States, 1996. Paperback. Condition: New. New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In Lost Women, Banished Souls, Garnett Kilberg Cohen captures the voices of a variety of women who share one main characteristic--the sense of loss. Although most of these women are like the ones we see every day without giving much thought to the undercurrents of their lives, Cohen shows us how women who appear ordinary on the surface often live extraordinary private lives. With the activities and relationships of her stories characters, Cohen demonstrates how fragile life is, how everyday decisions can change the direction of one s life, and how much more painful our failures of ourselves can be than our failures to meet others expectations. Cohen s characters are honest about the pains they feel. In Cousin Rina s Return, the story s narrator describes her sense of loss when her own transition from child to teenager changes the magical view she held of her cousins. Guests deals with the permanent scars left on one woman s mind and identity by the experience of multiple rape. In the title story the main character, confronting the painful loss of a longtime friend, realizes that her life has been filled with a sequence of lost friends. These stories also explore such social issues as domestic violence, teenage pregnancy, and child-rearing after divorce. Cohen s language ranges from lyrical evocations of the past to the informal, conversational style of folk tradition. Lost Women, Banished Souls introduces an author who has the rare ability to describe honestly and beautifully the struggles within the souls of her varied female characters. Seller Inventory # AAN9780826210739

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