LITERATURE: Bass 2007 – My Brother Eli

By Joseph Epstein, a short story written in the traditional manner of laying out character by character. Even as the first person narrator of Lou tells the story of his brother Eli who is a writer, the telling is more telling of the narrator and his own resentments and desires.

But before I’ve even finished it I wanted to quote two passages that may have something to do with why I’m liking the story, in that I can relate to it.

“Jews went in for this left-wing stuff more in New York than in Chicago. Here we’re happy just to make a living and get some kind of fix on reality. Our hands are full trying to cope with the world as it is. We don’t waste a lot of time on the world as it ought to be.”

And this:

” ‘I see your brother’s got his ass in a sling,’ Al Hirsch said, smiling the kind of smile lawyers do when they discover fresh news of greed or other human depravity of the kind off which they make their living.”

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