Tuesday, November 29, 2005

writing: "The God of War"

The fiction in The New Yorker is consistently good; in the last five years I've read about Russian gangsters, drunken Irish immigrants, diffident Japanese, and ruminative Jewish grandfathers (and it's only stereotypical en masse). The November 7 issue has easily their best short story of this millenium, The God of War by Marisa Silver.

It's just a kid and his family by the hard-luck Salton Sea, but it captures character, place, family relationships, memory, and a keening fear of what's unsaid better than anything I've ever read. If you liked The curious incident of the dog in the night-time, this is far richer. There's no plot and the density of allusion would wear you out if it were any longer, but as a short story it goes beyond perfect to wondrous.

Your local library will have a copy (it has the Egyptianized NY Public Library cover), you need to hold it in your hands and read it. If you really can't, it's online.

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