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Sibyl James:

Papier-Mache Press
795 Via Manzana
Watsonville CA, 95076

131 pp., $14.00

Stout Mama is unrepentant--she worries about her weight, won't quit smoking , adores Che Guevara and Mick Jagger, is fiercely independent but broods routinely about how others perceive her. She is a woman who'll give up nothing she loves. She's tastefully reckless, self-knowing without being self-centered, literary but no dweeb, sassy and direct.

Stout Mama's adventures are composed in short sketches--tight prose at once worldly and lighthearted, filled with the gestures of America and its cultural iconography: partial recognition and romantic fantasy on the rush hour freeway, WD-40, that "fine line between sexist macho and the mockery of sexist macho," high school sex education lectures, the foibles of teaching English in foreign countries. The charm of the well-writ anecdote is ever-present, and as you read these short tales you'll chuckle gleefully and reach for the phone to pass the word along.--Joel Lipman

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This review originally appeared in TapRoot Reviews #4,
Copyright Burning Press 1994, 1995.

Contact the editor, luigi-bob drake, at Burning Press