‘How’ by Roxane Gay


How by Roxane Gay, 2009

The magic trick:

Burying the story’s essence in a sea of chaos and distraction

There is a lot of noise in “How.” The essence is a sweet romance between Hannah and Laura. But around that core is chaos – Hannah’s despairing marriage, Hannah’s job frustrations, the controversial and dramatic return of Hannah’s mother, Hannah and Laura’s mad manipulations of the local college boys. Chaos.

But the noise doesn’t drown out the women’s love. It amplifies it. The chaos demonstrates the desperate need for their romance. And that’s quite a trick on Gay’s part.

The selection:

When his food is ready, Hannah takes a break, sits next to Peter, watches him eat. His beard is growing long. “A man without a job doesn’t need a clean face,” he tells her. She hates watching Peter eat. She hates that he follows her to work. She hates his face.

As always, join the conversation in the comments section below, on SSMT Facebook or on Twitter @ShortStoryMT.

Subscribe to the Short Story Magic Tricks Monthly Newsletter to get the latest short story news, contests and fun.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s