Review: DeLillo's 'Angel' Is Heavenly

Article excerpt

Don DeLillo is widely considered one of America's most influential authors. Over four decades, he's written more than a dozen novels, including "White Noise" and "Underworld," but until now he has never published a short-story collection.

"The Angel Esmeralda" was worth the wait. Containing nine stories (the earliest dating to 1979), the collection shows off the author's rhythmic, spare prose: "Watching Jill undress. Rum in a toothbrush glass. The sound and force of the wind. The skin near my eyes feeling cracked from ten days of sun and blowing weather." DeLillo shuns showy language in favor of being clear and precise, yet many of his deceptively simple sentences will leave you awestruck.

In the opening story, "Creation," a married couple at the end of their vacation in the West Indies can't seem to get a flight home. DeLillo captures the uncomplicated silences between two people who have been married for a long time, but, in this case, the relationship is not at all what it seems at first. …