I AM HAVING AN ADVENTURE by Perri Klass (Putnam's: $17.95; 253 pp.). In "I Am Having an Adventure," Perri Klass writes about hip, young urban sophisticates--recognizable terrain to readers of Ann Beattie, Jay McInerny and Tama Janowitz--without the familiar knee-jerk despair.
All of the 21 short stories making up this collection are portraits of young Americans in the throes of interesting crises. Roughly half are centered around sexual longings or infidelities, and it is here where Klass breaks ground. Her characters' strong, sometimes "deviant" sexual appetites don't lead them into emotionally stressful situations. Rather, they belong to a generation that knows just what it needs, and how to get it.
In "The Almond Torte Equilibrium," lesbian lovers come to terms with one's unexpected pregnancy while catering a celebration party for an unhappy family of Boston Brahmins. And "Cowboy Time" starts out like this: "What Joyce and Edward had in common was their taste in men. They both liked what they called 'cowboys,' rough, tough types with boots and not too much education."
Klass neither builds her characters up nor does she put them down while tracking their struggles for self-fulfillment. Except for the imaginative, sharply focused plots, these stories could almost pass for insightful, thoroughly objective nonfiction. The author's temperament is that of a reporter, with a keen eye for telling detail.