Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Prowler – Elizabeth Tallent

I was happy that another story by Tallent appeared in BASS. I encountered her work twice before in BASS 1981 and BASS 1987 and I look forward to reading her again in BASS 2013.

I don’t do well with stories about divorce – predictably because my parents divorced when I was 8 and I have very vivid memories of the separation.

I’ve written several times about the divorce and I can’t help but feel that it shaped how I deal with separation to this day.

I’ve had many good colleagues leave the paper over the past several years and I have purposely avoided attending their farewell gatherings. I recognize that this is selfish of me but I also wonder if my absence is really noted. I usually justify to myself my lack of attendance with self-assurances that I won’t be missed at these functions. I’ve only been called out on this a couple of times and only once did it end in an uncomfortable conversation.

This story serves again as one that takes me down a road of memories – many of them uncomfortable – and allows me to look at my life today and ponder the direction my life might have taken if the divorce never happened.

I am here now – happy in this world. And that matters.

The Reverse Bug – Lore Segal

This was a difficult story for me. I know when I am not capable of justly writing about a story – a story that is too complex for me to truly understand and appreciate. So many others have paid the proper respect this story deserves and I encourage you to seek out their opinion of the story.

I enjoyed reading Lore’s notes at the end of the BASS concerning the creation of the story and how various bits and pieces of the story were in her head for decades. In one online interview Lore states that the idea for the “Reverse Bug” was something she carried around with her for fifty years.

Fifty years.

I think that’s wonderful. A writer that was finally able to get that idea down on paper – and communicate it through such a deep and fascinating story.

It gives one hope that there are conclusions to quests – sometimes weeks, months or years later.