Short Stories All the Time

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... a few of my thoughts about 900, mostly contemporary, short stories.
Showing posts with label Haigh. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Haigh. Show all posts

17 February, 2013

Jennifer Haigh, "Paramour"

Christine lacking self-esteem and confidence had allowed herself to become the object of a famous man's gaze. Years later we see her as she finds out that his wife had not only known about Christine's objecthood but encouraged it yet again by inviting her to the tribute party of the famous director. Ivan gazed on Christine and his daughter, Pia, and directed everyone in his life as well as on stage.

The story was originally published in Ploughshares and then collected in the 2012, The Best American Short Stories. It is in a very close 3rd person POV and nine pages long. It moves from the tribute setting and its after-party to backstory and back again. The theme, for me, is that we are all participants in many stories, plays on stage, if you will, some conceded and some not.

Favorite Lines:
"She felt caught by him, mounted like a butterfly, held fast for his consideration and delight."

"That he had loved but not desired her was a truth she confided to no one. She carried the shame like a disfiguring scar."

Jennifer Haigh's web page
Wikipedia page

09 October, 2009

Jennifer Haigh, "Desiderata," and Tess Gallagher, "The Woman Who Prayed"

Read "Desiderata" by Jennifer Haigh and Tess Gallagher's "The Woman Who Prayed" from her collection, The Man from Kinvara. It is an interesting coincidence that both of these stories, not in the same book, are about widows who discover the secret affairs of their husbands in their personal belongings. Gallagher's story energizes the idea of prayer and Haigh's story that it is never too late to change and grow.

The Gallagher story is written in a very close 3rd person p.o.v. as in she believed, she felt, she considered, she feared, etc. and we never see Dotty, the wife, see her husband, Del, meet or talk with Hilda, "Queenie."