FRIEZE, Viking, New York, 1985, 224 pages (out of print)
Contemporary American Fiction series, Penguin, New York, 1986
(out of print)
"As delicately phrased as a prose poem. A parable that opposes the pride and power of the state to the slow resistances of human life."
Richard Eder, Los Angeles Times Book Review, Nov. 16, 1988
"Elegant form and vigorous detail give Frieze its mesmerizing power. The pure distance of it is mouth-watering, like a sweepstakes vacation."
Josephine Humphreys, The Nation, November 15, 1986
"Perhaps it began there, this journey into night, perhaps it was then: the point where return was no longer possible, return, if return could be, to something remembered or something perhaps that never really was.
Looking back, it seems to me that everything had color at the beginning: the sweetness of the days following one another, the sandstone, the stoneyard, the candy vendor beating his water harp--bright color, as if childhood ran way past its time, playing tag with rainbow powder, every day a feast.
Yet when I think, before the darkness--my own--long before. . . Some gray dawn--not just the stone--overtook me in mist, exiled me to a world of black or gray, condemned me to pry apart the porousness of a stone gone dark, forgetful of the fire that gave it life, that spilled it from the stony womb of earth and sent it coiling down dark hillsides, trailing sparks in the night with each sweep of its serpent robes, stone tongues licking, devouring the rice, setting fire to whole villages, entombing the living with the dead, feeding, ravening, till sated, it curled up at last and went to sleep.
Even now, touching it, prodding it with my chisel, even disguised in the commonplace of these ornaments for hire, does the stone remember? Does the chisel remind it of the fire?"