Post Your Opinion
Brief Reviews
by Roger Burford Mason

THAT KENT NUSSEY studied writing with Raymond Carver is clearly evident from the homage the nine stories in In Christ There Is No East or West (Quarry, 208 pages, $14.95 paper) offer to the influence of Carver`s unblinkingly sombre view of humanity. It is bleak territory to explore. Nussey`s people, like Carver`s, live small lives, 11 cribb`d, cabin`d and confin`d" by their economic, emotional, or spiritual poverty. Fathers and sons, husbands and wives, people in circumstantial and uncommitted friendships, they connect intermittently and unsatisfyingly in a world they cannot influence. Nussey`s stories explore geographical and spiritual locations Carver made peculiarly his own, where garbage blows across unlovely landscapes, nothing works properly, and people shrug and give up trying to understand one another. It is the territory of ugliness and despair, and in observing it NUSSEY proves both a good photographer and a sensitive recorder of the tones and timbres of hurt, incomprehension, and despair. But what he has not yet teamed is the compassion that elevates Carver`s writing and provides fleeting suggestions of hope in even his bleakest work; lacking that, NUSSEY ultimately reads like a fashionable pessimist.

Home First Novel Award Past Winners Subscription Back Issues Timescroll Advertizing Rates
Amazon.ca/Books in Canada Bestsellers List Books in Issue Books in Department About Us