The Gifts Of War by Margaret Drabble, 1970 Continue reading
My Son The Murderer by Bernard Malamud, 1968 Continue reading
The Stick Up by John Oliver Killens, 1967 Continue reading
The Honored Dead by Breece D’J Pancake, 1981 Continue reading
Soldiers by Ellease Southerland, 1972 Continue reading
Midnight And I’m Not Famous Yet by Barry Hannah, 1975 Continue reading
Even Greenland by Barry Hannah, 1985 Continue reading
Ambush by Donna Tartt, 2005 Continue reading
Kid MacArthur by Stephanie Vaughn, 1984 Continue reading
Testimony Of Pilot by Barry Hannah, 1978
The magic trick:
The hardness and distance in the narrator’s tone contrasted with moments of sweetness
Generally speaking, the narrator of this story comes off as a fairly tough customer. He often is egotistical about his success as a lover and his abilities as a drummer. He withholds regret, even as he reports the dastardly deed of hitting Quadberry in the eye with the battery early in the story. The whole tone is distanced.
All of that makes the few moments of sweetness the narrator does allow that much more powerful. Through this contrast, the reader is able to understand just how important Quadberry was to this man. The story’s last sentence – one such moment of sweetness – just floors me. And that’s quite a trick on Hannah’s part.
Lillian asked me what she was supposed to do now. I told her she was supposed to come with me to my apartment in the old 1920 Clinton place where I was. I was supposed to take care of her. Quadberry had said so. His six-year-old directive was still working.