jordan's Reviews > The Curse of the Appropriate Man

The Curse of the Appropriate Man by Lynn Freed
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's review
Jul 30, 2008

it was amazing

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 stories, each of these deals with issues faced by women, mostly sexual or emotional, that can dog the psyche for life.

As with most of her other work, most of these tales take place in Freed's native South Africa, a world in which she is both conflicted and achingly familiar. Yet it is not the milieu from which they derive their power, though her every detail stands as both telling and artfully selected. Instead the great power of Freed's work comes from her characters, each crafted as if by a sculpture, expert in his tools, chipping away every bit of excess to reveal the art within.

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