Mary Gaitskill, "Don’t Cry"

A recently widowed woman travels to Ethiopia with a friend looking to adopt.

(from The New Yorker, June 9 & 16)

For a story that, in my mind’s eye, is about about two white ladies traveling to Addis Ababa to child from a poor black family, this story doesn’t dwell much on race. But the situation is clear enough, with these heart-in-the-right-place women always on the outside looking in at a confusing and corrupt system. Far more interesting than Katya, who wants a baby for whatever generic reasons anybody ever wants a baby, is the narrator Janice, who lets her mind wander out of reality to the difficult end of her life with her ailing husband. That both of their concerns remain motivating factors even as political unrest threatens the city around them is interesting, and remarkably told. There was a distinct lack of symmetry to the story, with things never quite working out neatly or simply.

2 thoughts on “Mary Gaitskill, "Don’t Cry"

  1. Anonymous

    sad..yet it really is stupid. no concepts underlying the true theme and it didn’t leave me wondering anything. the only thing good about this was the fact that there was so much detail. The ending was predictable and so was everything in the story..even that janice was cheating on thomas…how?? you might say…wellhow could a 20 yr.old marry a 54 yr. old except for his $$$…she probably killed him and is waiting for his insurance money… also katya is a retard …that kid is going to hate her soon. She’s unreliable. she shouldnt be a mother. also a nother reason why i believe janice killed her husband is they didnt have any kids together… WHO DOES THAT? she probably cheated on him100 times… the japanes would say: Yariman!!!


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