Friday, May 18, 2012

Today's short story - The Proxy Marriage by Maile Meloy

I was so happy when I saw that the May 21 issue of The New Yorker had a short story by Maile Meloy. I loved The Apothecary, and felt sure I'd enjoy the story, and I did. It is based on a fascinating fact. Only in the state of Montana may a couple get married by double-proxy, which means that two people may act as stand-ins during the actual ceremony.

In December 2001, Mr. Taylor, a lawyer is asked to do this for a soldier in Kandahar and his pregnant fiancée in North Carolina. He asks his daughter, Bridey and her classmate, William to be the substitutes. Because William has long loved her from afar, and because he is simply that kind of person, he takes his job very seriously. Bridey, however is cavalier about the whole thing. They do this a few more times before heading off to college. The years go by and we read of how their separate lives are going after high school as they pursue their dreams. I wondered if they would ever get together; if William would ever tell her how he felt and if she felt anything similar for him. The story is eight pages long, and beautifully written. I am glad to say that you may read it, too. It is online here. And then after you finish, there's a great interview with Maile Meloy.

There are nice drawings above the first two pages of the story done by Kikuo, quietly showing the passing of time, without giving away the ending at all.

10 comments:

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    1. I really like the way she writes. Did you get to read the interview?

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  2. You are the first blogger I have read who also reads my favorite magazine, The New Yorker. I am officially a "letters from a hill farm" blog fan! I have the May 21 issue and will put it on my nighttable to read this weekend!

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    1. Well, we subscribed ages ago, and then quit a few years back. It had changed in a way we didn't like. And then, two bloggers mentioned articles and I thought to give it another chance. And we've been happy with it. It's a nice story. Have you read The Apothecary? She is a really good writer.

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  3. I have not heard of this author, but it sounds an interesting basis for a story - I wonder if proxy marriages are possible anywhere else? It's the kind of thing British Kings did way back in history - all those poor little princes and princesses, married off as children to people they didn't know and didn't get to meet until years later...

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    1. I loved The Apothecary. She has written a couple others I haven't read yet.
      It is a very interesting concept.

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  4. Well, Nan, I just spent a good part of my morning reading this story, the interview, digging a little deeper into the author, and here I am, pleased to say how much I enjoyed this little interlude on a perfect May morning. A most enjoyable post!

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    1. I love it that you took the time and read them both. Thanks so much.

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  5. I am going to have to go back and re-read this. I enjoy Agatha Christie so much. Right now I am re-reading Josephine Tey, who unfortunately does not have such a large oevre.

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    1. Do you mean the Maile Meloy story, or Agatha's Crooked House?
      I so enjoy AC, too. Last night I began Destination Unknown and it is so different from Crooked House that you'd think it was another author!
      I've never read JT.

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Now that I am a grandmother, it seems that I am often late in replying to your most-appreciated comments. But I read them as soon as they come in, and I will write as soon as I can. Please do come back and check. I love these blogging conversations. A little addendum - I've just spent quite a long time catching up with dear notes you left me months ago!! I do hope you can get back to read them. And I'm trying to be much more prompt now!

Also, you may comment on any post, no matter how old, and I will see it.