The May 1982 issue of Best Sellers has a page 47 review of Richard Grayson's Lincoln's Doctor's Dog:
Lincoln's Doctor's Dog & Other Stories
White Ewe Press (PO Box 996, Adelphi, Md. 20783),
Despite my initial reservations regarding this volume when it reached me, I must confess I like Richard Grayson and his work. Yes, we are told that Grayson labored as a messenger at the Village Voice, a clerk at the Brooklyn Public Library, a delivery man for the Midtown Florist and the Canarsie Laundry; but Richard Grayson is a writer, currently transplanted to Broward Community College in Florida, but still a writer whose With Hitler in New York caused Rolling Stone to map it as the place "where avant-garde fiction goes when it turns into stand-up comedy."
These twenty-two fictions display a versatility which commands attention. And they are very much in the American grain -- that vein of autobiography which has been a constant from the beginning of our literary history down to the confessional mode of the recent mode of the recent past. The title tale, which is certainly captivating, pretends to be the biography of Lincoln's doctor's puppy who grows up to be elected to a state governorship and achieves fame as a lecturer. Grayson can parody human excess and human frailty, parent-child relationships, and recreate a 1960s scene with poignancy. There is even a dazzling memoir of George Washington's step-granddaughter. And in "Diarrhea of a Writer," Grayson exposes that pride and pain which are the nutrients of a writer's growth. The questions he wanted to ask Saul Bellow: "Did you ever doubt yourself? How do you know when you've written something important? Did you ever want to give up?" -- these all fade when the Nobel Laureate tells Grayson, "I'll look for you."
Richard Grayson has been found, at least by this reader, and found-out, too. From the evidence he is serious and comic, charming, given to outrageous puns, and a sharp-eyed observer of and participant in life's absudities. Permit me one academic correction -- it is Edwin (not Edward) Arlington Robinson, as found on page 75.
NICHOLAS J. LOPRETE, JR., specializes in American fiction at Fordham University, Bronx, New York.