‘Morning, 1908’ by Claire-Louise Bennett

I read this entire novel-in-stories in one sitting on the fire escape of my old apartment one summer, and it was perfect. All of Bennett’s stories in Pond are about nothing, and books where nothing happens tend to be my favourite kinds of book. In this story, the narrator goes for a walk. She is dressed a little strangely, there are cows in a field, a young man is coming down the road. She is terrified, or she enters the feeling of terror and passes through it. We bear witness to all the thoughts in real time, as she documents them and questions them. I have not thought about writing in the same way since I read Pond, and this is, for me, the peak of the collection.

First published in the Winter 2012-2013 issue of The Stinging Fly, collected in Pond, Stinging Fly, 2015/Fitzcarraldo, 2016. Available to read here

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