Read Roxane Gay’s story here. And check out my brief review below.
I’ve read several of Roxane Gay’s stories now – some online, one in Hobart, and another in Midwestern Gothic. Her stories are lean and powerful, taking residence in rural areas marked by cheating husbands and wives, cigarettes, sex, booze, and trailer homes located on large swaths of undeveloped land. “In the Event of my Father’s Death” is no different. In this story, a girl gets dragged along on weekend “fishing trips” to visit her father’s mistress. While the father and the mistress are busy in the bedroom, the girl is either in the living room listening or out roaming the countryside. And while the title tips us off to a major event – that event itself isn’t the defining moment of the story. The defining event occurs between the girl and her father’s mistress after the funeral — a scene that leaves readers on the verge of something significant. It doesn’t spell out what happened. It doesn’t need to. We already know of the monumental shift in the narrator’s view of the world and herself. But I’m curious: what do you think of where the story leaves off? Leave a comment below.