Unmentionables (Hardcover)

By Beth Ann Fennelly

W. W. Norton & Company, 9780393066050, 126pp.

Publication Date: April 1, 2008



With elegant wordplay and her usual subversive wit, Beth Ann Fennelly explores the "unmentionable" not only what is considered too bold but also what can't be said because words are insufficient. In sections of short narratives, she questions our everyday human foibles. Three longer sequences display her admirable reach and fierce intelligence: One, "The Kudzu Chronicles," is a rollicking piece about the transplanted weed. Another, "Bertha Morisot: Retrospective," conjures up a complex life portrait of the French impressionist painter. The third presents fifteen dream songs that virtually out-Berryman Berryman.