Mary Gaitskill returns with a luminous new collection of stories—her first in more than ten years. In “College Town l980,” young people adrift in Ann Arbor debate the meaning of personal strength at the start of the Reagan era; in the urban fairy tale “Mirrorball,” a young man steals a girl’s soul during a one-night stand; in “The Little Boy,” a woman haunted by the death of her former husband is finally able to grieve through a mysterious encounter with a needy child. Each story delivers the powerful, original language, and the dramatic engagement of the intelligent mind with the craving body—or of the intelligent body with the craving mind—that has come to be seen as stunningly emblematic of Gaitskill’s fiction.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of Philosophy eBook: Don't Cry|
|Release Date: 03-24-2009|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||Don't Cry|
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Our first day in Addis Ababa we woke up to wedding music playing outside the hotel. We had traveled for 20 hours and we were deeply asleep. The music entered my sleep in the form of moving lights, like fireflies or animate laughter, in a pattern, but a loose and playful one. I was dreaming that I was with Thomas. In the dream, he was very young, and we were chasing a light that had come free of the others, running down a winding path with darkness all around.
When I woke at first I did not know where I was. The music seemed more real than the dingy room; its sound saturated me with happiness and pain. Then I saw Katya and remembered where we were and why. She was already up and standing at the window lifting a shade to peer out—the sun made a warm place on her skin and I felt affection for her known form in this unknown place. She turned and said, “Janice, there's weddings going on outside—plural!”
We went outside. All around our hotel were gardens, and in the gardens were crowds of people dressed in the bright colors of undiluted joy. Brides and grooms were wearing white satin, and the streets were lined with white limousines decked with flowers, and together with so much color, the white also seemed colorful. Little girls in red-and-white crinoline ran past, followed by a laughing woman. Everyone was laughing or smiling, and because I could not tell where the music came from, I had the sensation that it was coming directly from these smiling, laughing people. Katya turned to me and said, “Are we in heaven?”
I replied, “I don't know,” and for a second I meant it.
My husband Thomas had died six months bef...