Another You by Ann Beattie

By Ann Beattie

To her most recent novel, Beattie brings an analogous documentary accuracy and Chekhovian wit and tenderness that experience made her some of the most acclaimed portraitists of up to date American existence. Marshall Lockard, a professor on the neighborhood collage, is considering adultery, unaware that his spouse is already committing it.

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She’d instinctively crouched over her siblings, and when she stood and 23 C H A N G - R A E L E E looked back at the spot there was nothing but a burning half-chassis. She ordered her brother and sister to stay put and she ran there, in perfect silence, her heart feeling like it would burst out of her chest. The rest of the truck was in small pieces, its parts on the road and blown for dozens of meters on either side. The section in flames lay at the rim of a blackened crater in the road that the explosion had dug two meters deep and many times as wide.

The blood poured out as if from a spigot and she squeezed the stump as she ran, but one hand wasn’t strong enough. She could not do it. So she halted and laid him on the ground, gripping 29 C H A N G - R A E L E E the stump again with two hands. The cars were slowly rolling past them, only a third of the train remaining. ” he murmured. ” He was losing consciousness, the color draining from his face. ” June nodded. ” She nodded again. “It’s okay. ” She let go his still-warm hand, kissed his still-warm face.

The wheels of the train squealed and it began to inch forward, as though the locomotive was now pushing off the rails whatever obstacle it had struck. Then the train stopped for a moment before moving again. The woman’s own children, who sat on top of the boxcar, yelled for her to get back on. But the woman couldn’t cinch the belt tightly enough, and Ji-Young was bleeding freely again. The train kept moving, a little faster now, and the woman’s children began to shriek for their mother, high panic in their wails.

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