story: “Honored Guest”
author: Joy Williams
where: Philadelphia, the first day of Thanksgiving break
note: As can be expected, I have been reading a lot of short stories since returning to school full-time this August. With repatriating, Covid, schoolwork, bouts of melancholia, missing traveling, city life, dates, and hunkering down, and….and….and… I have failed at keeping this little short story journal up-to-date, but I’m interested in changing that. I’m going to do a list of the short stories I’ve been reading soon, hopefully after this regular entry. That way I can start fresh.
I chose “Honored Guest” because of all the stories I’ve read this semester this one sticks the most. It’s heartbreaking and and it feels like a winter story. It takes you places you don’t expect, but that you’ll most likely go during a lifetime.
a line: “She had been having a rough time of it and thought about suicide sometimes, but suicide was so corny in the eleventh grade and you had to be careful about this because two of her classmates had committed suicide the year before and between them they had left twenty-four suicide notes and had become just a joke.”
theme(s): Mother Daughter, death, the meaning of life, girlhood