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.
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.
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