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92Y's Read By

May 28, 2020

Rivka Galchen on her selection:

I chose this story because it deals with anxieties both rational and irrational. I love the way the narrator of this story works so hard to be cheerful. We see the labor, sometimes absurd, sometimes heroic, that goes into feeling okay with the basics of the world: that time moves, that calamities happen, that our hearts are unreasonable and panicked. Also Cheever describes California palm trees as "disheveled and expatriated" and like "rank upon rank of wet mops"—those incidental accuracies and pleasures are (for me) sunshine. I admire the story for offering a moment of grace—an almost silly one—that I can believe in. At least briefly.

The Stories of John Cheever at

Music: "Shift of Currents" by Blue Dot Sessions // CC BY-NC 2.0