Hortense Calisher delivers another collection of provocative prose, on par with that of Henry James and John Updike
A novella plus twelve short vignettes, Tale for the Mirror demonstrates Hortense Calisher’s masterful use of language in an exploration of the human condition. In the title novella, a suburban man in the Hudson River Valley analyzes his life and discovers the importance of stories after a sage Indian mystic moves into his neighborhood.
Laced with wit and pathos, the evocative shorter pieces include the galvanizing “The Scream on Fifty-seventh Street,” a textured tale of a widow who overhears an incident outside her window, compelling her to solve a mystery while coming to terms with her own loneliness in an unsentimental city. “The Rehabilitation of Ginevra Leake” is the farcical story of a homely girl from a proper Southern family who finds a home in the Communist party. In “The Seacoast of Bohemia,” a successful Manhattan man comes to terms with the fact that he’ll never have children.
Tale for the Mirror peers into private lives with precision and perception, as only Hortense Calisher could.