Sunday, May 20, 2012
Maile Meloy's "The Proxy Marriage"

Courtesy this week's New Yorker, whose fiction selections I don't often read.  This story is terrific, contemporary realism in the best sense of the term.

A sample, economical and full of telling details:

"When William parked his mother’s car in the courthouse lot, there was a woman beside him in a red pickup truck, crying. The air was brisk and the tall, old stone building imposing, with the new prison built alongside it.

Inside the courthouse, the room they usually used was locked, so William backtracked to the clerk’s office. The girl in front of him in line, who looked about seventeen, was picking up a restraining order. A bosomy clerk at a desk held a phone receiver to her shoulder and asked, 'How do we do a dissolution of marriage if the husband is in Afghanistan?'"

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