This story, not just about a sister searching for her brother’s remains and personal effects after he dies in an accident, but also about the impact of secrets in his life and hers, was my first introduction to Laura van den Berg’s beautiful work. I think a sense of the mysterious is what brings me back to this story – a bona fide sense of the mystery of other people, that is an earned mystery through a distinct level of alertness conveyed by the narration of the story, an alertness that is a characteristic of this writer’s other work also. I enjoy this mystery, cultivate it in my work. We are not fully knowable to each other, the story (and many other favorite stories) reminds us.
First published in Glimmer Train 88, Fall 2013, and collected in The Isle of Youth, FSG Originals, 2013