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Can You Wave Bye Bye, Baby?: Stories Elyse Gasco

Can You Wave Bye Bye, Baby?: Stories

Elyse Gasco

Published
ISBN : 9780330482493
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 About the Book 

Elyse Gascos debut collection is a novel take on an oft-explored subject: mother-daughter relationships. These eight interrelated stories all examine adoption from several perspectives. In A Well-Imagined Life, the narrator is a young woman trying to imagine the woman who gave her up- in You Have the Body, she is an adopted woman about to give birth to her own child- and in the title story, the character is about to give up her baby for adoption. Each of these tales offers a unique perspective on the parent-child bond- unfortunately, almost all of them are written in the oppressively self-conscious second-person--a literary tic that can be more distracting than effective. Fantasizing late at night about alternatives to her impending motherhood, for example, the unnamed narrator of You Have the Body imagines running away: Soon, you will be skinny again. You will only wear dresses. You will never be afraid of strangers. You will drink men under the table and sleep with college freshmen. They will read to you excitedly from their textbooks, their cheeks still raw from shaving too fast. You will take a woman lover and live in North Africa with a turban wrapped around your head. No doubt Gascos intention is to catapult us willy-nilly into the characters innermost thoughts- unfortunately, page upon page of this relentless, in-your-face you you you more often than not drives the reader in the opposite direction. (Sleep with college freshmen, you protest. Hell, no!) Applied judiciously, this literary gimmick might have worked- using it in six out of the eight stories, however, is definite overkill. Indeed, the strongest story in the collection, Mother: Not a True Story, is written in the third person. Here Gasco crafts a deft, darkly humorous portrait of an adoptive mother who creates a fictional birth mother for her dissatisfied teenaged daughter. Perhaps the best way to read Can You Wave Bye Bye, Baby? is intermittently, so as to enjoy Elyse Gascos passion and point of view without getting run over by her style. --Alix Wilber