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Showing posts from October, 2013

New Yorker Fiction Reviews: "Bad Dreams" by Tessa Hadley

Each week I review the short fiction from a recent issue of The New Yorker...and it's yours ABSOLUTELY FREE!!!

Issue: Sept. 23, 2013
Story: "Bad Dreams"
Author: Tessa Hadley
Plot: A little girl has a disturbing, "meta"-fictional dream about her favorite book series, in which she writes an Epilogue to the last book of the series and becomes (or begins to become) aware of her own mortality. She wakes up from the dream, goes downstairs into her parents' living room, and up-ends most of the furniture in the room, in some sort of childishly, life-affirming act. Her mother comes downstairs the next day. She is aghast at what she sees, thinking the house has been burglarized. Then she blames the mess on her husband, but doesn't yell at him though, because he's been under a lot of stress. Life goes on as usual. 
Review: This is at least the sixth time Tessa Hadley's fiction has appeared in the NYer and the third time in 2013 alone. Does the NYer have some ki…

New Yorker Fiction Reviews: "By Fire" by Tahar Ben Jelloun

Each week I review the short fiction from a recent issue of The New Yorker...among other things no one will ever find out about. 
Issue: Sept. 16, 2013
Story: "By Fire"
Author: Tahar Ben Jelloun
Plot: A 30-year old Moroccan man, Mohammed, inherits a fruit vending cart after his father dies. Mohammed has been to University, and has a degree in the Humanities. However, he is relegated to selling fruit on the streets and being harassed by local police, because of institutionalized economic decay and a corrupt police force. As Mohammed's life is made more and more miserable by the police, and he refuses to cave in to their ridiculous demands regarding forms, permits, bribes, and even an attempt to have him spy on his former school-mates, Mohammed decides to fight back by visiting the town's Mayor. Unable even to see the mayor, he is abused by police, and ultimately lights himself on fire in protest. This ignites a storm of public outcry against the corrupt government, an out…