By Beverly Jensen, this short story starts out with a most interesting complication:

Boston, January 1956
"Good God Almighty.  We’ve lost the damned body."  Avis stood on the North Station train platform, her small leather suitcase pressed between her knees as though it, too, might be whisked away.  "Dalton, we’ve lost Dad.  What the hell are we going to do?"  (p. 166)

After so recently having read James Agee’s Death in the Family, this scenario is similar in that it is bringing home the body of a dead family member, but Jensen allows that this particular family is a bit dysfunctional at best.  Throw in an ice storm on the journey from Connecticut to Canada, a sister and brother who are basically the irresponsible members of the family and like to drink to boot, and we have a humorous yet terribly poignant slice of life here.

More later, though I must say that I’m impressed with editor Stephen King’s choice of the more traditional story setting and form, the focus on character and drama, with fine writing overall is a nice change from the what the hell was that? stories that have been overwhelming the contemporary short story scene.

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2 Responses to LITERATURE: BASS 2007 – Wake

  1. Creechman says:

    The “in between knees” part incited attention of more juvenile readers.

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