Barbara Koenig Quart

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 130

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Norma Klein's collection of stories, Sextet in A Minor, opens with the title novella, set at a Swiss lake resort. The choreography among its six characters … sounds the note of marital discontent and sexual musical chairs that continues through almost all the stories that follow. Most of these have New York City settings … vaguely Jewish, certainly wealthy and rather jaded and cynical. Written in prose that is lively, quick and sure, these tales of the mismarried, of stolen but unenthusiastic adulteries, of marriages that frame shock treatments and suicide confirm yet again that if marriage and men are still remarkably much on women writers' minds, it is mostly as disordered thoughts and bad dreams. (p. 741)

Barbara Koenig Quart, "First, the Bad News," in The Nation, Vol. 236, No. 23, June 11, 1983, pp. 738-41.∗


Marsha Hartos


Denise P. Donavin