Told from the first person perspective of a young woman attending a birthday party for Adriana, a girl who has been in an accident. The nature of the accident is never revealed, but it has left Adriana paralyzed. There's really not much to relate about the story in terms of plot, and it's pretty short to start with. There is a somewhat disturbing (or at least sad) ending that comes as a bit of a surprise.
The story reminded me a bit of Shirley Jackson's short works, especially in its combination of a naturalistic situation and the subtle suggestion of the possibility of something terrible going unsaid. The painful ending emphasized the connection between the two authors. (The narrator actually blames the tragedy to a rivalry she has with another young woman at the party, in a way that seemed narcissistic but which also made me ponder what the implications of that accusation might be.)
Donald Hall (1928-2018)
3 weeks ago