Stories in an Almost Classical Mode
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These 17 short stories represent the best of Brodkey's work over three decades.
door, neighbors call her name, they start to trot toward her. She says, “They want to make a little time with me.” She said to me, “If people only knew how little they offer and how much they ask when they have a crush on you, they wouldn’t be so surprised they have only themselves to blame for how they get treated—I want you to listen to me: I have a lot to teach you, even if you are a boy.” She plays no sports. She is very intense; her heartbeat, unexercised, is always, even when she is
it is a dangerous argument; and so, out of mischief—but righteousness—and in a good cause—of mercy and friendliness to Nonie—she says the other thing, which she knows is not true but which means she is going to be nice to Nonie and believe her although Nonie has lied stupidly. Momma is proud of how “feminine” she is. She is as egoistic as Tolstoy but “feminine.” She often gave in to other women’s opinions. “I learn,” she said. She never really repented anything. She despised people too much to
head, the wooden latrine of the rain, the foul circus elephants of the day, of the circus-odorous day in its rainstink, the earth goes thud-thud with wind, with thunder from the next county (Da explains), and he says, “Don’t be wicked—you’ll bring on the deluge, we ain’t got no ark—” Wicked to him means foolish. “Don’t be foolish,” he says, touching bases. “You want Beelzebub to get us?—Let’s get someplace dry—” The Agreement Between Us, Part II DAD is carrying me rapidly—I lie against his
and an Oriental physicist attempted to sketch It, to stand both in Its Light and safely behind a tree and look at It from there as if to triangulate Its Height or Quality, which was impossible since It has no shadow, no ordinary relation to Light or, consequently, to dimension or time. Free Will continued to exist in the very face of the Divine, the Divine on this order at least, but it was Free Will partly shamable by our being Middle Class, our training in Respectability, in self-willed
a bit from the bed, aimed the flattened, mysteriously funnel-like container of her lower end at me, too high, so that I had to pull her down with my hands on her butt or on her hips; and her face, when I glanced at her beneath my lids, was fantastically pleasing, set, concentrated, busy, harassed; her body was strong, was stone, smooth stone and wet-satin paper bags and snaky webs, thin and alive, made of woven snakes that lived, thrown over the stone; she held the great, writhing-skinned stone