Short Stories All the Time

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

23 February, 2014

Gish Jen, "The Third Dumpster"

"The Third Dumpster" is about eight pages long and told in a third person POV. Two brothers of Chinese descent renovate a fixer-upper for their aging parents who do not want to live in assisted living where they would have to eat lamb and salad, Western food. While Goodwin scouts for a dumpster to use illegally because they don't want or don't have the money to rent their own dumpster, his brother, Morehouse has hired some illegal immigrants to help demolish the house. After Goodwin has found a dumpster to use, the third one, he returns to the house and finds that the workers are removing asbestos in an illegal and unsafe manner. Morehouse makes excuses and  tells his brother, Goodwin, that the illegals have the option to do the job or not, as they claim that they themselves do not have the choice but to use illegal dumpsters. Immigrants taking advantage of other immigrants. The melamine disaster in China is used by Goodwin to his brother, Morehouse, as another bad example. This story is about looking away and making excuses and feeling guilt.

"The Third Dumpster" was first published in Granta magazine and then included in the 2013 issue of The Best American Short Stories.

Gish Jen web page