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book cover of Verging on the Pertinent

Verging on the Pertinent

A collection of stories by

Publisher's Weekly
A wife leaves her ''overbearing, legal, lord and master'' husband and cuddles up for the winter with a bear, but, come springtime, the faithless animal takes a powder, leaving her to wonder: ''Where is the creature with which she can live happily ever after?'' Confused with a similarly named eminent professor, an aging, washed-out woman is invited to give the keynote address at a symposium on modern linguistics--and accepts. Elsewhere, ''the largest woman in the world'' hunches her shoulders and squats down, and ''becomes almost accessible to the average man. But even so, if one of these days this average man or even some other above-average and taller man takes a liking to her, sooner or later he will notice that she makes him look small even when he is standing in the foreground. But then, she doesn't expect real love, though perhaps marriage is not out of the question.'' The author of the acclaimed Joy in Our Cause skewers artistic pretension and chauvinistic men in her often pungent satires and allegories. But the recurring conceit of outsize or otherworldly women and feckless, irrelevant men wears thin and enervates the author's quirky and clever sensibility.

Library Journal
In this collection of 17 short stories, Emshwiller explores the feminine psyche in an otherwordly way. To many, the terrain will seem familiar but the perspective a bit fantastic. Ordinary women are portrayed in extraordinary situations, i.e., the protagonist in ''Yukon'' leaves her mate and finds happiness in the wild with a bear. Throughout the collection, characters ponder their identities and the choices they have made: Who am I? Where did I come from? Many are preoccupied with aging and experience a sense of having lost their beauty and the best years of their lives. In ''Secrets of the Native Tongue'' a woman remarks, ''What I've needed all these years is just a little praise,'' and we all share her anguish. A frequent contributor to science fiction magazines, Emshwiller has created stories with an acute sense of mystery and strangeness about them.-- Kimberly G. Allen, National Assn. of Home Builders Lib., Washington, D.C.


Used availability for Carol Emshwiller's Verging on the Pertinent

Paperback Editions

October 1989 : USA Paperback

Title: Verging on the Pertinent
Author(s): Carol Emshwiller
ISBN: 0-918273-57-9 / 978-0-918273-57-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: Coffee House Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA