Leslie Epstein George Stade - Essay

George Stade

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

We know from Leslie Epstein's previous fiction—two novels and a collection of stories—that he has both a social conscience and masterly skills. We also know, especially from his last novel, "King of the Jews" …, that he has an imagination of catastrophe.

His new novel, "Regina," is set in New York City in the 1980's, where inner catastrophes confront their external counterparts. One counterpart is the weather. It's midsummer; there's a heat wave and a drought…. Somebody in the neighborhood (the Upper West Side) is killing women who, as it turns out, remind him of his mother. He stabs each of his victims exactly 27 times. Relations between the sexes and among parents and children are awry. "It...

(The entire section is 425 words.)