Saturday, March 26, 2011

On "All-American" by Jenn Stroud Rossmann (1865 words) ****

This is the first story about a rape that I've read from the point of view of someone other than the victim or the perpetrator (though one film I've seen presented points of view from both the victim and the victim's boyfriend). That distance helps make this story the strong piece that it is, the way that it takes the stereotypical "strong American man" and puts him in a situation that is demands vulnerability and helplessness. The story is further aided by its second-person narration. Try putting it in first person, and it would sound silly. Put it in third person, and the distance seems even greater. "You" catches just the right amount of identification in the reader. You can read the story here at Failbetter.


Short Story Slore said...

Agree with your take on the second person. And there were so many one-liners that I loved:

She has a friend who was date-raped and she recommends therapy and Ani DiFranco.

Your dad seems different but you’re not sure whether he’s changed or become more like himself.

And his girlfriend wearing Scooby-Doo pajames - love the details.

Short Story Reader said...

Yeah, another great piece published by Failbetter. It's so good much of the time.