Good Old Neon, David Wallace
Verily a fair-haired, fast-track guy, whom in the very best human tradition David Wallace had back then imagined as happy and unreflective and wholly unhaunted by voices telling him that there was something deeply wrong with him that wasn’t wrong with anybody else and that he had to spend all of his time and energy trying to figure out what to do and say in order to impersonate an even...
Mercy, Philip Levine
The ship that took my mother to Ellis Island Eighty-three years ago was named “The Mercy.” She remembers trying to eat a banana without first peeling it and seeing her first orange in the hands of a young Scot, a seaman who gave her a bite and wiped her mouth for her with a red bandana and taught her the word, “orange,” saying it patiently over and over. A long autumn...
Museum, Robert Hass
On the morning of the Käthe Kollwitz exhibit, a young man and woman come into the museum restaurant. She is carrying a baby; he carries the air-freight edition of the Sunday New York Times. She sits in a high-backed wicker chair, cradling the infant in her arms. He fills a tray with fresh fruit, rolls, and coffee in white cups and brings it to the table. His hair is tousled, her eyes are puffy....
Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace
Well Mr. Gately what people don’t get about being hideously or improbably deformed is that the urge to hide is offset by a gigantic sense of shame about your urge to hide. You’re at a graduate wine-tasting party and improbably deformed and you’re the object of stares that the people try to conceal because they’re ashamed of wanting to stare, and you want nothing more than...