Cover image for Vito loves Geraldine : a collection of stories
Vito loves Geraldine : a collection of stories
Eidus, Janice.
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Publication Information:
San Francisco : City Lights Books, 1990.
Physical Description:
169 pages ; 21 cm
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In these eighteen stories Janice Eidus, with comic and tender irony, casts a sharp eye upon contemporary myths of romance, rebellion, and self-discovery.

"Janice Eidus . . . possesses a fierce imagination . . . inventive and darkly amusing." -- New York Times Book Review

"Janice Eidus is a sprightly Chaucerian observer not averse to thinking. When she goes in deep and rides the treadmill of the psyche with her people, she makes marginality poignant and nervousness a gift. She is to be praised." --Paul West, Rat Man of Paris

"Eidus sometimes revels profitlessly in the weird, but she can also take a bizarre situation and make it wholly human and touching, as in ""Robin's Nest,"" about a girl growing up with a mute, birdlike mother. In the triumphant title story, a teased-hair tough girl from the Bronx grows into middle age while waiting for her doo-wop singing lover to come back for her; long after the reader knows she is deluded, he does. Some stories are just right . . . but all are distinguished by irony, intelligence, and unexpected moments of tenderness. -- Kirkus Reviews

"Chances are you'll fall in love with narrator Geraldine Rizzoli, just the way skinny doo-wop star Vito Venecio did when they were in high school in the Bronx in the 1950s . . ." --Nancy Pete, Orlando Sentinel

Janice Eidus, winner of two O. Henry Prizes, is the author of novels Faithful Rebecca and Urban Bliss (City Lights), and the short story collections Vito Loves Geraldine , and The Celibacy Club , both also published by City Lights Publishers. She lives in New York City.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

The award-winning title story, also published in Prize Stories 1990: The O'Henry Awards [BKL Ap 1 90], is a deliciously satirical love story with a happy ending. While all the love stories in this sinewy collection are implausible, not all are cheerful. Eidus enjoys taking traditional tales and twisting them to accommodate reality. A classic romance formula has an unromantic conclusion in "Safe," a story about AIDS. "American Love Story" insists on the prosaic and "A Comb and a Snake" is an urban version of the Garden of Eden legend. Distance seems to be a prerequisite for love in many of the stories, and Eidus often treads a mystical edge. "Robin's Nest" is pure magic, a deeply moving story about a sensitive 11-year-old girl and her silent mother. These are stories to mull over, their emotive range rich and their originality magnetic. --Donna Seaman

Publisher's Weekly Review

Spoofing generic notions of romance and family, Eidus's ( Faithful Rebecca ) authoritative short fiction is marked by a sly marriage of fantasy and reality. Readers are most effectively lured into the author's special twilight zones by those stories told in the first person. Her high school sweetheart cuts a hit record and splits for the West Coast, and the sanguine heroine of the O. Henry-winning title story waits patiently for his return. Years pass, and Geraldine still teases her hair and dresses up in her old prom dress to dance and sing in front of the mirror, stuck firmly in the '50s, when she was the most popular girl in her Bronx crowd. The honeymoon is over when his sweet, mousey wife, a word processor, becomes a performance artist, but the staid narrator of ``Vanna'' learns he can keep the marriage afloat by lusting after her dominatrix alter ego. ``The Country in Maura'' features an academic whose subject of research is a Dolly Parton clone. Some tales are fragments (a clogged toilet that needs to be snaked catapults Eve into leaving Adam in ``A Comb and a Snake'') or invent less convincing voices, such as ``Safe,'' which tracks a couple's private thoughts about sleeping together in the age of AIDS. ( June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved