Short Stories All the Time

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

09 January, 2016

Robert Hellenga, "The Fur Coat"

"The Fur Coat" tells the story from a sixth-seventh grader boy's viewpoint whose Italian mother leaves him, his father, and the grandfather to return to Italy to live with the man she now loves. The son is devastated and spends Christmas Eve sleeping in her fur coat. The story gives a nice sense of place with details of streets, stores, nightclub, and the bookstore that the father and grandfather own and run. The story begins with an engaging and lively bet between the mother and father. Even though the story is not very long, it covers a year, from Christmas to Christmas. At the first Christmas, she had been unhappy about her gift, a translation of Montaigne, she'd wanted a fur coat. "I want to live life, not read about it." She often speaks Italian to her son, the narrator, and that creates a nice sense of separateness that she seems to feel living in this bookish family; she's more the type to run naked outdoors. The story is a great read about how one, especially a youngster, manages after such a huge change.

"The Fur Coat" was published in AGNI, issue 82.

Robert Hellenga's web page
biography at BookBrowse