Short Stories All the Time

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

31 January, 2015

Marge Piercy, "The Cost of Lunch, Etc."

Maud, a starving poet, lives in a rooming house and is hoping that her lecherous and predatory professor will introduce her to the local and famous poet who she has decided has the power to launch her career and save her from starving. "Imagining this meeting had soothed her to sleep bitter nights." Well, not so fast. Duncan, the professor with his trophy wife, lives in a nice suburb with a large home, is not concerned about her career or her poetry. He takes her to lunch in an off campus Italian restaurant knowing how hungry she is and "Duncan was eager to fuck her, would like to set up an extracurricular lay on Friday after his last class." A meeting is set up and the famous poet is surprised and dismayed to learn that she's a poet. Maud realizes that "Duncan, the bastard, had said nothing. Produced her as a random female."

Maud's landlady is a survivor of the Treblinka extermination camp in Poland during the Holocaust.

I've only touched on some of the details and rich symbolism and foreshadowing and word use of this story. It gets better with each reading. The story is told in 3rd person POV with some shifts, "They hated her in the rooming house..." "The Cost of Lunch, Etc." is the opening story in Piercy's recently published collection of the same title. "The Cost of Lunch, Etc." was included in an issue of Aphra published in 1970.

30 January, 2015

Marge Piercy, "Saving Mother from Herself"

This first-person story tell of a widowed mother whose daughter descends on her with a "therapist" who is going to clear out her house because they claim she is a hoarder. "My daughter calls it a mess, but I have it all catalogued." Suzie saw on television a show about hoarding and decided that her mother was one. The film crew shows up as the narrator's house is cleared out. However, after the attention disappears she begins re-collecting her stuff. "Saving Mother from Herself" was first published, 2013, in Ms. Magazine. This story is included in Piercy's new short story collection The Cost of Lunch, Etc. just published in 2014.

Interview with Piercy at Ms. Magazine
website for Marge Piercy -
Wikipedia page for Marge_Piercy