here). There are nine short stories in Interpreter of Maladies, I have already posted on one of them, "Sexy", and hope to post on the other eight in relatively short order.
"A Temporary Matter" is about an immigrant couple, living in Baltimore, Maryland in the USA. The man is in his six year in graduate school working on his PhD. The couple has just gotten a notice from the power company saying repairs to the system will require the power to be cut off everyday for a while, starting at eight P. M. The wife works outside the home, they are childless, the wife having miscarried six months ago. The wife was three weeks from her scheduled delivery date when her husband needed to go to an academic conference. He did not want to go but his wife insisted as it would be good for networking. She miscarried while he is at the conference and he returned just at the end of her labor. He and his wife tried to keep their feeling of closeness but somehow events like this often have bad consequences for weak marriages. He and his wife do not fight but they somehow become "experts at avoiding each other". He no longer looked forward to weekends when they could be together. At first he hopes it will pass. They still have sex but it feels like it is more because they think it is something they should do . They take the occasion of the hour of darkness to try to re-bond. They cook each other special meals and than something the enjoy. The husband thinks it is working, that the marriage is mending. Then his wife tells him that, just as a "temporary matter" she has found and will move into her own apartment. He knows now all of her behavior of seeming to want to repair their marriage was a lie as she had been arranging her apartment the whole time. He takes a terrible revenge on her, a stab at the heart not the body.
This is a wonderful story about the loss of feeling in marriage, about deception and emptiness.
I look forward to reading her other stories.