The story is divided into nine sections mostly moving chronologically. Some of my favorite lines are, "At her age, it's bad enough being mortal, without having to make apologies for it too."
Here's another line that succinctly shows one way in which racism operates. "And everyone is sure that Irene, for her part, is still anti-Semitic. And why not? If our own prejudices are any indication."
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"I was wondering about this business of bride's side, groom's side. Partitions and more partitions. Why do we always have to take sides? How primitive are these divisions?"
"And I realized this morning that 'security' is not the main thing either. 'Security' is an expensive illusion."
Bette Howland won the MacArthur Foundation award in 1984 and was a close friend of the writer, Saul Bellow. Included in the current issue, No. 23, of A Public Space are an introduction by Bette's son, Jacob Howland, a couple of Bette Howland's short stories, postcards and letters from Saul Bellow to Bette. Howland lived a tough but interesting life and I'm so happy that A Public Space has published this information. The story, "Blue in Chicago," is published online at Commentary.