Christine Sneed, “Quality of Life”

603a5ea39c3ba4e947258b3604951fc3A woman can not escape the attention and money of a much older man.

(from portraits of a few of the people I’ve made cry)

She felt that in a way, however, she deserved what she got; if she were allowing herself to call strange men, the circumstances of their meeting would presumably be strange as well. This tendency to court real danger was new, something she would have to monitor closely.

I’ve read some really excellent short stories recently and it has me spoiled. I expect everything I pick up to be amazing. Of course, that’s not fair. “Quality of Life” is a good story but I expected more. I’ve been hearing really positive things about this collection and looked forward to receiving it in the mail. I’ve only read “Quality of Life” so far (which is the first story in the collection and was anthologized in BASS, so presumably it’s one of the collection’s strongest) but I shouldn’t judge yet. I don’t know. I liked it quite a bit. It just doesn’t compare to my recent reads by Holiday Reinhorn or Christie Hodgen or Caitlin Horrocks (scroll down). I feel like I’m discovering all of these brilliant female writers I didn’t know existed and I’m thrilled. And now I expect brilliance from everyone. I want to not waste my time on work that isn’t, well, brilliant. But perhaps today is a day when I just can not be pleased.

I suppose I should tell you a little about it. A woman meets a man named Mr. Fulger, an older man  who sees her infrequently but spoils her with hotel rooms and money and fancy dinners. The man, in return, expects to see her whenever he calls and she is unable to have any real kind of relationship with anyone as a result. I have probably told you too much now.

Anyhow, you should read it and see what you think. Sneed has a new novel out and is getting a ton of good press.


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