Women in Their Beds Essay

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Semansky publishes widely in the field of twentieth- century culture and literature. In the following essay, he discusses the ways in which Berriault's story embodies the author's idea of "the eternal moment."

Although she has written numerous screenplays, novels, and essays, Gina Berriault says that she finds her true voice when writing short fiction. On the dust jacket of her collection of short stories Women in Their Beds, she has this to say about the form: "[Short stories] are close to poetry—with the fewest words they capture the essence of a situation, of a human being, and they attempt to capture the eternal moment."

In the searching, elliptical title piece of that same collection, Berriault captures that eternal moment in showing readers the women's ward of a county hospital in San Francisco during the Vietnam War years. She replicates the then-common televised sight of wounded...

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This section contains 2,203 words
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Buy the Women in Their Beds Study Guide
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