My subscription to The New Yorker was generously renewed by my parents as a Christmas gift. I look forward to reading it every week, and usually manage to tackle most of each issue, but it’s an awful lot to work through in seven days. This year my goal is to, at the very least, read the fiction piece (and one profile/long article) from each week’s issue. Because: not only am I consistently impressed and moved by the stories published here, but…I mean, I need to measure up my competition if I ever want to see my name in their Table of Contents. I’ll toss links to the fiction up here, along with a thought or two if time allows. The first two weeks:
1/4/10 – Baptizing the Gun, Uwem Akpan. Transports the reader to Nigeria, big time. Sights, sounds, smells…great detail and crisp images throughout. Story follows a Catholic priest, his shitty car, and an unexpected passenger. Didn’t love the ending, but looking forward to reading his other stories (another Christmas gift).
1/11/10 – Safari, Jennifer Egan. Loved this story. Vivid/round/complex characters (primarily a father/daughter/son plus father’s young girlfriend situation) on an African safari. And (not that the ending’s all that matters) I loved the ending, especially the last line: “I don’t think those ladies were ever watching birds.” Perfect, when you get there.