Martha is adrift in the world. Maybe that’s why she’s hanging out with one of the older art students who sculpts her nude body.
(from The Best American Short Stories 1996)
As I started this story I took note of the sometimes clunky storytelling, but as it went on, I was less bothered by it. Why? Because that’s totally the way this character who never cared much for learnin’ or anything would tell the story. So it’s quite cool. I’m not completely sold on this story, parts of it seemed a little eager for awkwardness, but it’s certainly a worthwhile, thoughtful read.
Check this out: I’m not 100% sure about the title this story. The back cover calls it “Sculpture I” while the inside of the book, including the table of contents, calls it “Sculpture I” (with a miniature version of a capital I). In the story itself, the class Martha models for is called “Sculpture 1” — so that’s a mystery for you.
As I am wont to do, I tried to find this story online. I Googled the phrase “Ray and I went out a few times” and found only this Livejournal belonging to one “Jenandtonics.” The current entry begins: “I could never become a vegan if for no other reason than my inability to survive without Ben and Jerry’s.” Oh, Jen.