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Book Title: Under the 82nd Airborne|
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 455 KB
v The author of the book: Deborah Eisenberg
Edition: Ivy Books
Date of issue: December 23rd 1992
ISBN 13: 9780804110907
City - Country: No data
Read full description of the books Under the 82nd Airborne:The characters of Airborne suffer repercussions of ignorance. At an individual level, this ignorance (in the young, more kindly called naivete) can be as small in scope as personal unease; Eisenberg, however, conveys the gravity of adolescent pain with the skill of the best young adult fiction authors. At its worst, this ignorance is global, and the repercussions both political and personal can include death -- but Eisenberg is sneaky, only hinting at devastation of this magnitude in the background; the protagonist's foolishness keeps the narrative focus. Every agony shares a subtle but equal weight here, though the subjects in the stories run the gamut from slavery, racism and revolution, to petty drug-dealing in LA, a teacher seducing an underaged neighbor, and the angst of trying to make it in New York while burdened by an acquaintance’s boyfriend who’s been dumped on you.
This last is the plot of “A Cautionary Tale,” the first story in the anthology, which threw me somewhat, because it is has a levity absent the rest of the book. The second story, which shares the title of the collection, is a 180 from the first, and sets the tone of underlying danger for the remainder of the book. It follows a petty actress who follows her daughter out of spite to Honduras, where she gradually and unwittingly -- having no idea what’s going on or what her daughter’s fiance really does -- gets in over her head with an American Contra during Operation Golden Pheasant. The reader alone is aware of the gradually escalating menace, until it's too late. The final scene harrows.
One of Eisenberg's skills is offering ironic humor in the context of peril, as in the practically satirical “Holy Week.” This piece is narrated in the format of short- and longhand notes scrawled by Dennis, a journalist hired to write a cultural review (with an emphasis on local cuisine, which figures in both amusingly and apropos) of an unnamed Central American town for a travel magazine supplement. Dennis, a doofus who sees what he wants to see, is eager to get along with his white connections, who float comfortably above the devastation of the civil war they perpetuate. He admonishes his much sharper, younger lover and travel companion Sarah, who becomes increasingly horrified by the suffering of the locals and the insufferable local patriarchy. While Sarah lashes out darkly at everyone complicit, including herself and Dennis, the lack of self-awareness in Dennis’s notes brings despairing laughs (“Band angry about something?"). It's the kind of leftist humor that makes you want to kick someone.
And it's the kind of writing that makes a would-be writer want to copy cover to cover, just to know how it feels to choose these word, in this order. My ebook is covered in highlighting; I read each story again immediately upon finishing it, and was reluctant to finish the whole collection. Luckily, she has four more. Is it too much to hope she'll offer a memoir someday?
Read information about the authorBorn in Chicago, Eisenberg moved to New York City in the 1960's where she has lived ever since. She also teaches at the University of Virginia. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The Yale Review, Vanity Fair, and Tin House. She has won the Rea Award for the Short Story, a Whiting Writer's Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and three O. Henry Awards.
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