Monday, May 10, 2010

Nathan Englander's "Free Fruit for Young Widows" (short story, non-genre, free): Turning a man into a monster

Illustration by Emmanuel Guibert accompanying the online copy at the New Yorker of the short story Free Fruit for Young Widows by Nathan Englander
It's a very dark story, & a familiar one too:
  1. Innumerable Partition stories in India. There have been a lot of movies on the subject too.
  2. Tobias Wolff's "A Mature Student" rationalizes sometimes barbarous behavior of US soldiers in Afganistan & Iraq.
  3. Paolo Bacigalupi's "The Yellow Card Man" has some beastly human behavior on display in Thailand in situations where survival is all that matters.
This is the story of a survivor of World War II concentration camps - one who wasn't quite human again: "they killed him. After the war, we still lost people. They killed what was left of him in the end."

Fact sheet.

First published: The New Yorker, 17 May 2010.
Download full text from publisher's site.
Rating: A.
Added to my "best of 2010" list.
Related: Author interview that includes information on the origins of this story [via Digital Dunes].


Tim said...

If you're interested in my review, check it out here: