Monday, August 05, 2013

Reader's Diary #1044- David Crouse: Nomads

This is a pre-scheduled post to appear while my family and I are road tripping through the Yukon and Alaska.

Irrelevant to the rest of the post I suppose, but I found it interesting that the two Alaskan short stories I found for this and last week were both written by men yet both featured female narrators. In "Nomads" the female is Nancy who is recalling a memory about the last time she'd spent with her father, when she was 14. He would die of cancer soon after.

It's certainly an enthralling story. It opens with an image of an umbilical cord wrapped around a newborn's head. There's a heavy theme of 2nd chances and not giving up, mostly explored through the words and actions of Nancy's father. It's no wonder that such a theme would be of importance to her father; he's estranged from his former family and this is his first time spending any time with Nancy in over a year. Clearly, and likely due to the cancer, he's becoming more philosophical. He and Nancy are also, fortunately, reconnecting.

However the complexity of Nancy's father is not fully revealed until they happen upon an accident while driving from Anchorage to Fairbanks. It just so happens that it involves another father and daughter and Nancy's father seems uncharacteristically callous about the whole situation. I suspect that, for all his talk about not giving up and second chances, he was not yet ready to afford himself such a privilege and in the second father, Nancy's father sees something of himself.

It's a deep piece and at first my only complaint was that it seemed to just fizzle out at the end. However, with a second reading I rather like the final image.

(Did you write a post for Short Story Monday? If so, please leave a link in the comments below.)

1 comment:

Loni said...

I forgot to link to my post yesterday...

Hope you're vacation is going well.