300 short stories:: story 222

story: “A Woman, Young and Old”

author: Grace Paley

year: Grace’s first (of three) story collections was published when she was in her late 30s; this story appeared in that first collection. 1959!

where: mio ufficio, before my Italian lesson 

note: The title of this story comes from a Yeats poem, where the poet explores the idea that sex is the only thing the transcends over time.

a line: “’Men are different than women,’ said Joanna, and it’s the only thing she says in this entire story.”

theme(s): Wartime romance, female competition, young love


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