‘Dog Heaven’ by Stephanie Vaughn

Another final story, this one from the end of Vaughn’s first (and final) collection, Sweet Talk. I will never be a dog person but this at least helped me understand their appeal. It takes the bold (and usually disastrous) step of ventriloquising an animal but, in this case, pulls it off with ease. ‘My name is Duke! My name is Duke!’ the dog says. ‘Wake up! Wake up!’

First published in The New Yorker, January 1, 1989 and available to subscribers to read here. Collected in Sweet Talk, Other Press, 2012

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