Thursday, May 2, 2013

On "I Looked for You, I Called Your Name" by Laura van den Berg (6450 words) *****

This is the second story of van den Berg's I've read, the first being a tale in One Story. I can see why she's something of a sensation. She's a master of virtually every aspect of a a well-written piece: interesting plot, full characters and setting, and wonderfully surprising sentences.

You know you're in for strangeness when the author opens with "The first thing that went wrong was the emergency landing." We don't tend to think of emergency landings as the beginning of troubles but rather than end. But then, this is a narrator whose view of the world is decidedly negative and whose experiences certainly compel negativity. She may survive, but how well?

There's a moment in the tale when the narrator talks of how only her husband and she can see the twist in her nose, and it's enough to show how this relationship is one built on a certain degree of pretense and uncertainty. Is the narrator predisposed to viewing her husband as less than desired and lets that color the rest of her life, or is she simply one who is predisposed to seeing everything as less than desired? Decide for yourself here at Tinge.

No comments: