At the other end of the emotional spectrum is Joan Abelove's germophobic Grandma Leah, the subject of the story "The Best Parts." Known for yanking sheets off the bed promptly at 6:00 a.m. regardless of the occupants she insisted on washing the linens daily and for shunning sickbed duty, Grandma Leah even refused to visit her own daughter as she lay dying of a brain tumor. Fortunately for Abelove, she had a palliative counterpart in Grandma Sophie, a feisty socialist who taught her to play poker.
Some of the grannies depicted here are certifiable saints, while others inspire less felicitous tributes from the authors. Clearly, not all the writers who rose to the challenge of describing their grandmothers worshipped their subjects. But as this provocative anthology shows the one thing this beloved family figure hasn't been is forgotten.
<I>Sandy MacDonald writes from Massachusetts.</I>