Victory over Japan Criticism

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The collection Victory Over Japan: A Book of Stories won the American Book Award for fiction in 1985. In general, the book was favorably received and commercially successful.

Critics invariably focus on Gilchrist's female characters and their unique narrative voices. Commentator Dean Flowers maintains that her colloquial style is deliberately naive; at times, he remarks, "this voice can sound like children's storytelling." While occasionally, as in "Victory Over Japan," the narrator actually is a child, Flower finds this voice appropriate even for adult narrators, since "the style admirably suits the frustrated-child mentality of most Gilchrist characters." These childwomen are variously characterized by critics as spoiled, willful, unpredictable, and racy. Lowry, for instance, describes Rhoda as "redheaded and a hellion."

Gilchrist's surprise endings are praised by Flower, who says her stories typically seem like "the most marvelous gossip you ever heard" until the reader is faced with the sadness and...

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This section contains 294 words
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Short Stories for Students
Victory over Japan from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.