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Curse of the Appropria...
Lynn Freed
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Curse of the Appropriate Man

3.41 of 5 stars 3.41  ·  rating details  ·  86 ratings  ·  10 reviews
These fourteen short stories, written over the past ten years but never before collected, deal with the struggles between mothers and their wayward daughters, the often preposterous bonds that tie men and women together, and the complex games masters and servants play with one another. In spare, elegant prose, Freed delivers surprise after surprise as she shakes the truth ...more
Published September 1st 2004 by Turtleback Books (first published January 1st 2004)
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So....I got to chapter 3. And I was totally f-ing confused. Until I realized it was stories. Short Stories. What's wrong with me?

Frankly, not so impressed. The jacket says that they are "subtly erotic stories." Well, I guess...if you consider beastiality erotic. Or subtle.
Dripping with language distilled down to fire water, Lynn Freed delivers here a collection of brilliant short stories, everyone raw and poignant. Whether the tale of the young woman molested by the traveling knife sharpener or the widow's daughter overwhelmed by the power and allure of her sexuality, or the narrator of the title story struggling with her attraction to all the wrong sort of men, each tale proves crafted with the care for which Freed is famous. As with many of her novels and short ...more
Richard Jespers
Excellent. I’ve never read anyone who tells such completely satisfying stories in such short spaces—“Ma: A Woman”—especially. The story reduces a deathbed and subsequent mourning to its barest features without losing power in the manner of more lengthy stories covering the same material.
An utterly painful read. I've never thought of myself as prudish or conservative. Perhaps I'm just not representative of the majority of women of the world, but I do not, under any circumstance, find a child being molested or bestiality "witty, subtle, or erotic".
I read this collection of stories in one sitting. Freed writes of the lives of women - in the U.S. and South Africa, primarily - who struggle to reconcile their scrabbling toward desire and happiness with the fact they have to live in the world. It seems to be an older world, although most of the stories were initially published in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
This collection of literary short stories is an interesting mix, including a number of stories based iin the Jewish community and several based in the Black community. The title story is quite interesting, focusing not on the appropriate man, but what the likes of the adventurous man. I did not find them quite an interesting as I thought they might be.
There is a deep sadness, like a thread, sewn through all of the stories in this collection. I was impressed by Freed’s ability to paint a picture of a character’s lifetime even when the story only described a series of moments. What this shows is that Lynn Freed knows which moments are the most important and most poignant.
It was... okay. I was filled with promise after reading the first, very taboo story only to be let down by mid-book with a lack of fluidity. There are a few tales that I really enjoyed but most left me wanting for much more.
Ugh. The first story was enough to make me recoil, but I decided to keep going in the hopes that it was just a bad story in an otherwise wonderful book. Nope.
Interesting, enjoyable. Good read.
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Lynn Freed is a South African novelist and academic.

She came to the U.S. first as a foreign exchange student, and then went on to receive an M.A. and Ph.D. in English Literature from Columbia University. She taught at Bennington College, Saint Mary's College of California, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Oregon, the University of Montana, and the University of Texas in Au
More about Lynn Freed...
The Servants' Quarters Reading, Writing, and Leaving Home: Life on the Page House of Women The Mirror Home Ground

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