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Stories 45-46

Read two more during dinner tonight:

Luda and Milena by Lara Vapnyar from the September 3 & 10, 2007 issue of The New Yorker, is the story of two older Russian women in New York, attending an English as a Second Language course.  They are very different types, and attend the class although neither seems to really need to.  They begin to vie for the affection of a man.  That's all I'll say plot-wise.  I found the main characters (Luda, Milena, Aron) to be well-drawn and believable as the stakes seem to grow.  We never really get into Aron's head, since the story is about the two women, but that's okay.  The rivalry drives the story.

Mr. Bones by Paul Theroux from the September 17, 2007 issue of The New Yorker ...  I'm not sure whether I liked this story or not.  It's one of those that is hard to get a handle on.  It seems to be about dealing with the sudden change in the personality of a parent and how that can affect / permanently scar children and alter the dynamic of the home life.  The narrator is looking back primarily through the eyes of his much younger self.  Some familiar phrases get turned on their head and taken in a more literal sense, which adds an odd level to the story.  I'd be interested to see others' commentary on this one.

Both stories were still up on The New Yorker's website fiction page as of earlier this week.

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