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Showing posts from May, 2019

New Yorker Fiction Review #228: "The Presentation on Egypt" by Camille Bordas

Review of a short story from the May 20, 2019 issue of The New Yorker...

One of the best short stories I've read in The New Yorker for a while, mostly because I haven't been reading many short stories in The New Yorker lately. But also because it's a great, well-structured story. Incidentally, it has almost nothing to do with Egypt.

The story functions as sort of a mini, domestic epic spanning about 25 years in the lives of Anna and Danielle, a mother and daughter whose husband and father, respectively, commits suicide when Danielle is about nine or 10.  Anna never actually reveals to her daughter that Paul committed suicide, instead telling their daughter that he had a heart condition. Thus, Danielle grows up with an excess of concern about her heart's heath, among other mild dysfunctions like those we all accrue given enough time (which is to say, almost any amount of time as a human being).

I always appreciate stories that capture big chunks of time in people's …

The Summer of the Woolly Bugger

Got out fly-fishing this past weekend for the third or fourth time this Spring. Can't believe it's already almost Memorial Day and I've only been out four times at most. But time moves fast and fishing days are few.
Went up to Little Mahoning Creek with a friend of mine to fish for trout on a fly (the only way I fish for them). The section we went to was up near Punxatawney, Pennsylvania. where they do the whole ground-hog day thing, yes.
The Little Mahoning is a fairly small creek meaning almost nowhere is it wider than about 10 yards or so and you can wade right across it without much difficulty almost anywhere. Furthermore, it's characterized by what fly-fisherman call "pocket water," that is, much of the stream is shallow enough to be un-fishable -- just because the fish don't have enough room to "hold" in it or it's just too exposed for a trout to be hanging out -- and you have to hunt for the pockets or holes with water deep enough an…