Jackie Kay, “You Go When You Can No Longer Stay”

They had a comfortable relationship until one of them started reading Martin Amis.

(from The O. Henry Prize Stories 2006)

On one hand, this story was right on. The heartbreaking parts rang true and clear. These moments were nice. But some of the prose was so awkward, so repetitive, it made me stop. I mean, this was a story narrated by someone who had trouble expressing herself, putting her thoughts, and her partner’s mindset, into words she herself can understand. But there were times when I felt like it was the writer who was clunking, and this was distracting. That said, this story had some memorable quirks and situations. The Martin Amis thing was funny.

(I read this on the Explorer of the Seas)

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