Bear and His Daughter
|Publisher:||Houghton Mifflin Co|
The stories collected in Bear and His Daughter span nearly thirty years - 1969 to the present - and they explore, acutely and powerfully, the humanity that unites us. In “Miserere,” a widowed librarian with an unspeakable secret undertakes an unusual and grisly role in the anti-abortion crusade. “Under the Pitons” is the harrowing story of a reluctant participant in a drug-running scheme and the grim and unexpected consequences of his involvement. The title story is a riveting account of the tangled lines that weave together the relationship of a father and his grown daughter.
The stories in Robert Stone’s first collection, Bear and His Daughter were written over the course of 30 years and cover a variety of topics from abortion to drug dealing. In “Miserere,” Mary Urquhart, a widow who lost her own children in a terrible accident, now assuages her guilt by taking responsibility for the souls of the unborn. In “Under the Pitons, “ the reluctant Blessington finds himself caught up in the grim aftermath of a drug-running scheme, while in “Porque No Tiene, Porque Le Falta” a hike up the side of a Mexican volcano brings about eruptions in the personal lives of ex-patriot Fletch and his companions.
Most of the characters in Stone’s stories are male, most of them have no first names. The writing is spare, the motivations and emotions are telegraphed. Everyone in this collection has been wounded by life, and anger is their shield against further pain. Stone is well-known for uncompromising prose on subjects as divergent as Vietnam and Hollywood. In Bear and His Daughter, he continues his exploration of the dark recesses of the human soul.