Archive - April 28, 2011

Review — FROM THE SAN JOAQUIN by Barry Kitterman (Belize)

Review — FROM THE SAN JOAQUIN by Barry Kitterman (Belize)

From the San Joaquin: Stories by Barry Kitterman (Belize 1976–78) Southern Methodist University Press $23.95 208 pages 2011 Reviewed by Marnie Mueller (Ecuador 1963–65) IN ANTICIPATION OF WRITING THIS REVIEW I read Barry Kitterman’s award winning debut novel, The Baker’s Boy (The Maria Thomas Award for Fiction), which I admired greatly, but which didn’t prepare me for the muscular, thoroughly authentic voice of From the San Joaquin. From the San Joaquin has been compared to Winesburg, Ohio; it’s more a novel in form than a collection of short stories as well as a decidedly American story of small town life, but unlike Winesburg it never flirts with the grotesque, nor panders to notions of quaintness. Covering a forty year span, Kitterman subtly weaves the lives of half a dozen main characters and a dozen subsidiary ones into a complex, multileveled narrative. It’s set in Ivanhoe, California in Tulare County, the . . .

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