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However, what Indian Nation gains from looking at the ordinary it loses when looking at the legendary. Wallis’svignettes of Pretty Boy Floyd and Frank Phillips suffer from a desire to be both personal and objective. Wallis writes in the opening of “Pretty Boy” that Charley Floyd loved stories of outlaws and desperadoes. But the story-within-the-story of the whiskey trail in the hills does nothing to illuminate our understandings of Oklahoma as a particular place or of Floyd’s particular history. Still, if Indian Nation sometimes falls into unapologetic romanticizing and distracting prose it makes clear the uniqueness of Oklahoma in history and memory. COLLEEN M. TREMONTE Michigan State University Reviews 385 Careless Weeds: Six Texas Novellas. Edited by Tom Pilkington. (Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1993. 330 pages, $35.00/$14.95.) The six examples gathered here prove the novella as aform isyetvital. They vary widely in style and content, but they share understandings of that part of the American West called Texas. Jan Rushing’s quietly controlled style allows her “Wayfaring Strangers” to reveal sometimes dark undercurrents of small town life. The focus in this piece is on feminine sensibilities, but the revelations are not merely gender-oriented. Margot Frazer’s “Hardships” is as much social history as it is competent fiction. Her emphasis on the bond between people and land is sure to make what she says meaningful to Westerners. David L. Fleming treats the inescapable fact ofracial prejudice and asserts the primacy of humanity’s potential to triumph over cruelty and injustice. Clay Reynolds’ “Summer Seeds” is a parable of the dangers which attend rites of passage for young boys. Reynolds’ narrative glosses the thin veneer which covers uninten­ tional savagery in so-called civilization. Pat Carr’s “Bluebirds” examines the complexity of man-woman relationships in a difficult marriage. The final no­ vella, Thomas Zigal’s “Second Lieutenants of Literature” offers appropriate comic relief from some of the other works’ treatments of gut-wrenching mat­ ters. Anyone who has attended a literary conference or festival will surely experience deja vu while reading Zigal’s high-spirited satire of the follies of writers and would-be writers. Careless Weedsfulfills the promise Tom Pilkington made for it in his intro­ duction; the volume does “chronicle the evolution of culture and society in Texas.” But this collection is not merely about Texas; the six authors treat of universals. Readers who wish to know of the American West will hope for more gatherings of quality novellas. KENNETH W. DAVIS Lubbock, Texas ...


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