Sunday, June 15, 2008

101 Ways To Dance, by Kathy Stinson

In this slim collection of short stories, we get a variety of topics but all of them deal with teen sexuality in one way or another. Many of the ideas are quite original: sexual desire between kids with Downs Syndrome or kids who are dying of cancer. Some of the stories deal with forbidden topics (like incest). All of the stories address the conflict between physiological desire and parental/adult disapproval. So, as a unifying concept, sex works.

The stories themselves are rough. Some of them are certainly better than others, but none of them really moved me in a significant way. Beyond the yearning and the poignancy of young lust and love, the characters come across as surprisingly flat. Much credit can be given to Stinson for creating so many unique and original stories about sex (while avoiding all the usual stuff), but the stories needed more development and polish. Promising concept but a disappointment.

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