Bear and His Daughter
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By both literary ambition and literary reputation, Robert Stone, with five novels to his credit, has already established himself as one of the strongest and most impressive novelists of our time. He has taken readers from the underbelly of New Orleans to the jungles of Vietnam, from the brutality of war-torn Central America to the sinister glamour of Hollywood. It has been nearly five years since the publication of his best-selling novel Outerbridge Reach, a work distinguished for its integrity and vision. The stories collected in Bear and His Daughter span nearly thirty years. Written between 1969 and the present, they explore, as powerfully and acutely as his novels, our common troubled condition and the humanity that unites us. In "Miserere," Mary Urquhart is a widowed librarian whose unspeakable secret concerning the death of her husband and children causes her to undertake a most unusual and grisly role in the antiabortion crusade. In his classic and widely anthologized story "Hel
is really a lot of shit," he said. Willie looked at him kindly. "That really is a lot of shit," Fletch told them. "It's utter jive. You're crazy with speed, all of you." "I'm afraid Willie's right, Fletch," Fencer said. "But we're all in the same bag, children, because Sinister Pancho Pillow has hunger and thirst for all of us." "Not for me," Willie Wings said. He rattled the parrot's cage, making the bird squawk. "Especially for you, Willie Wings," Fencer said. "Sorry." Fletch shook his
Elliot felt ready to endure a great deal in order not to hear Blankenship's dream. "I'm not the one you see about that," he said. In the end he knew his duty. He sighed. "OK. All right. Tell me about it." "Yeah?" Blankenship asked with leaden sarcasm. "Yeah? You think dreams are friggin' boring!" "No, no," Elliot said. He offered Blankenship a tissue and Blankenship took one. "That was sort of off the top of my head. I didn't really mean it." Blankenship fixed his eyes on dreaming distance.
madness and he kept his distance. She was laughing and shouting at the top of her voice. "Praise him above, you heavenly host! Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost." Laughing, thrashing, she went under; her face straining, wide-eyed. Blessington tried to look away but it was too late. He was afraid to go after her. He lost his own balance then. His physical discipline collapsed and he began to wallow and thrash as she had. "Help!" he yelled piteously. He was answered by a splash and Marie's
with tap water. "All right, Buck," she called, pronouncing the animal's name with distaste, "goddamn it." She put his leash on, sent Io ahead to the car and pulled the reluctant dog out behind her. With Io strapped in the passenger seat and Buck cringing under the dashboard, Alison ran Lombard Street in the outside lane, accelerating on the curves like a racing driver. She drove hard to stay ahead of the drug's rush. When she pulled up in the aquarium's parking lot, her mouth had gone dry and
him shoot for the surface again, then dive and skim over the floor of his tank, rounding smartly at the wall. "I love you," she declared suddenly. "I mean, I feel a great love for you and I feel there is a great lovingness in you. I just know that there's something really super-important that I can learn from you." "Are you prepared to know how it is with us?" "Yes," Alison said. "Oh, yes. And what I can do." "You can be free," the animal said. "You can learn to perceive in a new way."