Heart of the Country, Greg Matthews (Norton). Here, "the old West is portrayed not as the Promised Land but as a human purgatory, and the cowboy and pioneer are depicted not as romantic heroes but as ordinary men--often evil men . . . . (The story) enhances the breadth of life on the frontier" (Stan Steiner).
A Father's Words, Richard Stern (Arbor House). " 'A Father's Words' are uttered to four children, and most potently and cruelly to a son, Jack, a relentless failure . . . . The delicate manipulation of a smart, sane, self-justifying narrator, who is not the character he wishes his audience to see and believe, is not the least of Stern's achievements in this delicate fabrication of tough prose and tender adjustment of sentiment" (Geoffrey Wolff).
The Secret Trauma: Incest in the Lives of Girls and Women, Diana E. H. Russell (Basic), "pulverizes popular myths surrounding incest and sets us straight about the scope and nature of the abuse. Russell's most disturbing revelation is the extent of the abuse she uncovered" (Sally Abrahms).
The News From Ireland and Other Stories, William Trevor (Elisabeth Sifton/Viking). "Why should we care about these English families of the 19th and early 20th centuries, whose hegemony was both profound and wafer-thin? Simply because Trevor makes them stand for a broader image of human life as a struggle against entropy . . . . (William) Trevor fashions contrivance into high craft; and at his best, he elevates high craft into art" (Richard Eder).