Shopping Cart



Day 5

Start of Part I, pages 61-74 (through "Goodnight, Lou.")

July 27, 2020 by Elizabeth McCracken

Part One begins with an accident: Petie, broken in Maytree’s arms, the start of a lot of broken things. —Elizabeth

We’re in Petie’s head here—sudden & yet we understand. Dillard lets her dialogue clang against what we already know about the characters’ interiors. —Elizabeth

“Brandy all around?”

As things unravel Dillard pays attention to bodies: Lou holds Maytree; he tells her he will always love her; she steps away instantly. On the next page he doesn’t know how to stand. It’s heartbreaking. —Elizabeth

The oystermen who drown as the tide comes: a haunting image, & a haunting thought, that your everyday life might kill you as you bootlessly shout for help. Strange death in the landscape permeates the book (think of the murdered Woman in the Dunes). —Elizabeth

Lou’s own wish—to love instead of being loved—reappears, horribly, in Maytree’s head. Her love for him created a fata morgana, & now he believes that he only believed he loved her back. —Elizabeth

“He never really loved Lou. He saw that now.”

Sign up for A Public Space's Newsletter