Yiyun Li, “After a Life”

Covering for a friend’s infidelities puts Mr. and Mrs. Su’s own secrets in jeopardy.

(From Zoetrope All-Story, Vol. 9, #2)

Really enjoyed this one, hoped something would happen but didn’t get too bummed when not much did. A lot of this was set-up. The secret lives and hobbies of its characters are explained, their precarious positions are warmly and descriptively laid out for us. The stage was totally set for a revelation. A denouement. A change. We don’t really get that, but, that’s something I’m used to: short stories whose stories stop short of a satisfying arc. But who am I to put demands on “After a Life?” It accomplishes its mission as the author understood it. It was also charming and memorable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>