XI.  Review:  The Story of Mist, by Stuart Dybek
From: "Charles H. Easter" (edche@huber.com) or (salparadis@aol.com)

Stuart Dybek, best known for his book of short stories *The Coast
of Chicago*, describes his new book *The Story of Mist* as a
collection of haibun-like prose.  A haibun typically is a short,
first person account of an event told in concise, near-poetic
language with one or more haiku included.  Dybek stretches the
form considerably -- many of the pieces are in third person and
none of them contain a haiku.  In the longer pieces (about a page
and a half), the result is powerful fiction boiled down to a very
few words, often with some poetic lines.  In "The Kiss", I found
myself reading quickly just to see what would happen when a life
guard revived a drowned girl.  Then, I read the piece again to
appreciate its poetry -- " . . . the invisible imprint of the
kiss is on his lips, shaping his words.  There's a sudden
compelling intimacy between him and this girl just back from the
dead . . ." While the longer works come close to fiction, the
shorter ones contain the most poetry, such as this line from the
title piece --"A buoy tolls in the mist like the steeple of a
little neighborhood church that has drifted out to sea." With his
poetic language and knowledge of plot tension, Dybek is quite
successful in his stretch of the haibun form.  Available from
State Street Press, P.O.  Box 278, Brockport, NY 14420.

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