Dandelion by Lore Segal, 2019
The magic trick:
Perfectly capturing and understanding the poignancy of a moment
One of my favorites of recent New Yorker reading. It’s a truly beautiful story.
It captures the regret of a small moment. A young girl lets a tiny incident turn into a dramatic combination of pride, embarrassment, confusion, and anxiety. Being 10 years old, she doesn’t really know where to direct any of that, and that feeling only compounds matters.
That is such a precise understanding of human experience, emotion, and memory.
And that’s quite a trick on Segal’s part.
That Henry James, when he got old, rewrote his early work was my excuse for revisiting, at ninety, a story I had written in my twenties. I was ten years old when I had to leave Austria, so the day with my father in the Alps must have taken place on our last family holiday, the previous August.
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