Everyone has a face that they show to the outside world—but our thoughts, fears, and perversions lie just beneath.
“Referred pain” describes the sensation of pain, not at the actual point of injury, but somewhere else in the body. This disorientation of the senses is felt, in one way or another, by many of the characters in this collection from Lynne Sharon Schwartz, one of America’s foremost chroniclers of contemporary life.
In the title novella, a son of Holocaust survivors circumvents his discomfort over his parents’ history through a Kafkaesque series of dental procedures. In another story, a professor’s sexual attraction to one of his students leads him down a twisted path of misplaced identity. Laced with Schwartz’s satirical, acidly intelligent wit, Referred Pain displays the peak of her ability.