Ideas Of Heaven In her exquisite new book, Silber captures whole lifetimes in radiant, loosely linked first-person narratives. In "My Shape," a woman meets her husband on a… Fiction
Book Review

Ideas Of Heaven

EW's GRADE
A-

Details Writer: Joan Silber; Genre: Fiction

In her exquisite new book, Silber captures whole lifetimes in radiant, loosely linked first-person narratives. In ''My Shape,'' a woman meets her husband on a cruise ship, follows him to France, then leaves him to pursue a dance career in New York. But after she is humiliated by her snippy dance teacher -- who calls her a hippopotamus and commands her to lick his shoe -- she returns to Europe. Years later, she still thinks of him when she meditates: ''I have never had another enemy.'' Several pages into the next story, ''The High Road,'' you realize that the bitter narrator, a gay dancer suffering the agonies of unrequited love, is the same scornful teacher. The overlapping of these six delicate monologues gives this slender book the weight and breadth of a novel.

Originally posted Apr 23, 2004 Published in issue #761 Apr 23, 2004 Order article reprints