Laura Kasischke, “If a Stranger Approaches You about Carrying a Foreign Object with You onto the Plane”

If-AStranger-Approaches-You_custom-5820fb3c6f972eeb73a7324443c67e1c11777d80-s2A stranger asks a woman to carry a package onto an airplane.

(from If a Stranger Approached You)

As was always the case in airports, there was a small crowd of confused people (the elderly, the poor, some foreigners) standing patiently in a line they didn’t need to stand in, and a woman behind a counter who was waving them away one by one as they approached her with their fully sufficient pieces of paper.

This book of stories was published by Sarabande this month and I feel extremely proud of myself for reading something current. I’ve always been a fan of Kasischke’s poetry, but I’ve never read any of her stories (or novels). I admire the way she doesn’t shy away from writing about race or class. She’s fearless, bold.

I liked this story quite a bit. Kasischke is adequately able to convey the narrator’s state of mind and make me believe that she would do this favor for this stranger.  I don’t want to tell you any more about the story but luckily you can read it here.

Also, it strikes me that nearly all of the stories I’ve reviewed for this site have been by women. Perhaps this is one reason why women are so grossly underrepresented in literary magazines; it may not have anything to do with overt sexism but the fact that the editors of these publications are men and they prefer to read work by men same as I prefer to read work by women. This doesn’t make it okay or anything, but it’s a valid reason, I think. Anyhow, more on this later…

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