Stuart Levine was educated at Harvard (AB) and Brown (MA, PhD), and has been a professional concert musician, network music commentator, scholarly author and editor, journal editor, lecturer and teacher. He has been a visiting professor at a number of universities and held six Fulbright professorships. Writing and publishing short fiction (initially under a pseudonym) began at the end of his teaching career.
In 1994-1995 Levine was Professor Emeritus of English, University of Kansas; principal French horn of the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra and the Lawrence City Band; hornist with the CottonWood Winds and the Lawrence Woodwind Quintet, and Fulbright Distinguished Lecturer in Naples, Italy (the Naples Chair).
Stuart Levine's stories treat unfamiliar subjects: the professional (as well as personal) lives of oboists, businesswomen, art agents, Mexican intellectuals, flower-growers, painters and brokers among them. We meet women comfortable in the hard sciences and the executive suite, a librarian who loves both chamber music and boxing, Mexican males undaunted by machismo, an unathletic shrink who is a crack rifle-shot, and a white woman who was a slave in Alabama.
If some of Levine's people transcend stereotypes, that may be because his prose is about liberation--such liberation as is possible in the wobbly world he envisions.
"My characters," the author confesses, "never do what I plan for them. They take over the stories." Their doings, dark or noble, are at once funny and moving.
- Meet Hoopus, Dingle, Frambert and Greeplowicz, stars of Coach's All-Opponent team.
- Who's "Coach"? She's the woman this guy sneaks off to see on Monday Night Football evenings. Does she know football! Can she put on a half-time show!
- A deeply moral man, Wimpy still shares "the most amazing pictures"--of his wife.
- The painter's mistress thinks, Behind every great artist is a woman. Who suffers! She, however, is not suffering, and his wife is feeling no pain, either.
- And what if the artist is a woman?
- What about artists who paint wistful kids with big round eyes?
- A living infant is thrown on a funeral pyre in the same little town where, at High Noon, two sheriffs with the same name stalk one another, pistols ready.
- A flying torch-singer loses both her Cessna and the pitch.
- People think the professor can make the blind to see and name the nag who'll win the horserace, but his own miracle leaves his fingers smelling of fish.
- If the novelist's lady-friend hadn't snored, could he have written his trilogy?
- Tune in tomorrow--there is even a soap-opera. An Argentine soap-opera.
Because most of these tales were written (under a pseudonym) to be taught in the author's own classes, they teach very well and have been adopted by other instructors.
"The Monday-Wednesday-Friday Girl"
"Retiro and Coyoacan"
"Through the Six-Hole"
"A Private Joke"
The Monday-Wednesday-Friday Girl
by Stuart Levine
5-1/2" X 8-1/2"