Sana Krasikov, "The Alternate"

A guy meets up with the daughter of the woman he used to love back in Russia.

(from Zoetrope All-Story Summer 2008)

Victor’s a creepy old dude whose marriage seems sorts of petty and angry and whose intentions for meetings up with the much younger Alina are instantly suspect. We don’t end up with any real reason for being suspicious of Victor, but I still don’t like the guy. The story, however, was worth the time.

One thought on “Sana Krasikov, "The Alternate"

  1. amanda

    I read the story last night. I’m not suspicious of Victor in the creepy sense. He seems to feels a little lecherous calling her, but only because he himself doesn’t know what he wants from her and it feels odd. He’s motivated to see who this daughter of his old lover, the woman he was supposed to marry, turns out to be. In a way it’s like seeing his old lover again. There’s a great sentence in there where he says she looked like her mother, but her looks were “set in a different key”. He’s also driven partly by the desire for forgiveness from this girl, forgiveness by proxy for having left. I think that’s why the story is called the Alternate. She’s standing in as an alternate for her mother. He can’t tell his actual wife about the meeting because it would bring up more issues in their already somewhat strained relationship. When the story ends, you know they’ll never meet again. I think you’re creeped out by Victor, because the story unfolds slowly and he seems to be acting like someone who’s about to do something wrong. She picked up on the subtle nuances of his character in that way. I just Krasikov’s full book. The stories are great.


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