Tuesday, September 21, 2010

On "Between Here and Here" by Amy Bloom (5725 words) ****

All right, here's one of those grody, sentimental stories about taking care of a dying parent--only it's not grody or sentimental, and that's why it's great. The story's opening sets its town: "I had always planned to kill my father." This is a dad who is mostly unsympathetic. He's a jerk--making fun of his own kids, tossing his wife's cooking on the floor. When he's left alone late in life, he doesn't seem much to care--his wife dead, his children not wanting to spend time with him. But somehow, we learn to love the guy, even as the children do, as we see him age to a point of vulnerability. Unlike most stories where the senile grow ugly, this man's senility reveals a new gentler person, one we're sad to see fading so quickly. Read the story here at Narrative Magazine.

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