Temporary Shelter by Mary Gordon

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Temporary Shelter

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Mary Gordon is the author of three well-received novels, FINAL PAYMENTS (1978), THE COMPANY OF WOMEN (1981), and MEN AND ANGELS (1985), each of which features as protagonist a woman coming to terms with the common human predicament and with the particular burdens of womankind. TEMPORARY SHELTER, her first collection of short fiction, gathers twenty stories, many of which originally appeared in magazines such as MADEMOISELLE, MS., REDBOOK, and WOMEN’S DAY; the earliest was first published in 1975.

While Gordon’s stories share the feminist concerns of her novels, they lack the reflective consciousness that has made her protagonists believable and appealing to many readers. The central characters in these stories, whether women or men, young or old, socially marginal or comfortably middle-class, are rendered in a flat, simplistic style that...

(The entire section is 266 words.)