‘The Other One’ by Tessa Hadley

To bear out my whole ‘collecting stories jumble sale-style’ thing, here’s one I chanced upon a couple of years ago. I never read the fiction in The New Yorker. I don’t know… it’s just so often Ooh, here’s a story about a young American boy whose school diorama project causes his lawyer father to set off on a surreal and life-changing trip into the desert. Please. But this is from another world entirely, this remarkable story of a now adult daughter piecing together the fragmentary memory of her father’s death in a car accident. Such lightness of touch in how Hadley manages the emotional currency of the piece. Such a gift for plotting – I photocopied the thing and highlighted each paragraph in different colours to better understand (and learn from) its complex chronology. This is the only thing I’ve ever read by Hadley: an oversight I’ll correct soon. (GK)

Published in The New Yorker, May 2020, and available to read online here

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