Jamie Quatro, “Better to Lose an Eye”

9780802120755Lindsey, Mama, and Nona go to a pool party in their new handicapped-accessible van.

(from I Want to Show You More)

They drove to the party in the new van. Nona liked driving it. She said the van was a smooth ride and it was a blessing never to have to worry about parking. Next to Nona, Lindsey’s mother sat in her wheelchair, which locked into place with clamps built into the van’s floor. She was wearing her red cowboy hat.

This is my favorite story in the collection so far. I was immediately invested in Lindsey, her struggle to accept her mother’s quadriplegia and all of the changes that went along with it. Lindsey is horrified and disgusted by her mother’s condition–gnarled hands and urine bag–while also feeling an intense and abiding love: “she loved her, loved her desperately; she would sit with her, facing her, her back to the party, to the world.” It all feels very real, a vivid portrait of a family.

This story is online. Read it here.

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