‘Ventimiglia’ by Joanna Walsh

The One That May Represent Some Sort of Platonic Ideal:

Officially, this is an extract too, but the first time I read it was as a standalone piece, so I’m going with that.

I used to think Hemingway’s ‘Canary for One’ was my favourite short story: the way it describes a train journey – initially along the French Mediterranean coast – via the landscapes flashing by outside the window, the way it talks about relationship ending without really talking about the relationship at all…

Then I read this, which starts by travelling the same geographical territory, but heading East rather than West, and also talks about/ doesn’t talk about a relationship ending, and is more perfect, more right, word for word, than anything has a right to be.

I won’t go on about how great Joanna Walsh is because you already know – you, of all people – and also because I’m not qualified to do so, and I detest theorising talk, but if I had to come up with some sort of example of how I wish I could write then it would look a lot like this.

(Available to read on Granta.com. Officially part of Break.up, Serpent’s Tail, 2018)

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