Margot Mifflin
January 29, 1993 AT 05:00 AM EST

Serious Hysterics

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Alison Fell
genre
Fiction, Short Stories

We gave it a C+

A story collection about women ”bedeviled by symptoms,” Alison Fell’s Serious Hysterics is more accurately a group gripe about victimization. Only three of the contributors transcend the book’s questionable premise and create believable characters in compelling quandaries. Marina Warner describes a failed mother who has kidnapped a stranger’s child; Leslie Dick documents the bemusement of a young woman undergoing endless gynecological examinations of her malformed vagina; and Zoë Fairbairns shows how a wife who will believe anything is easily duped. The others succumb to preciousness and self-pity. C+

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