Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Sunday, January 22, 2012

"The Baster" by Jeffrey Eugenides

"The Baster" by Jeffrey Eugenides (1996, 17 pages)

Jeffrey Eugenides (1960, USA) won The Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for his novel Middlesex.   His latest book, The Marriage Plot is getting a lot of mostly favorable attention from book bloggers.   He has also published a number of short stories, mostly in The New Yorker.   I read and enjoyed Middlesex   shortly after it came out in paperback.   It is an interesting story of the lives of three generations of Greek-Americans.   The main character is an hermaphrodite.  

"The Baster" is another short story from the collection of short stories first published in The New Yorker all of which are set in New York City, Wonderful Town:   New York Stories from The New Yorker.   The 2010 movie The Switch  is based on the plot of  "The Baster".  

"The Baster" is a funny, insightful development of the lament of unattached women in New York City (and else where!) that "the good ones are all taken".   As the story opens we meet a successful attractive forty year old New York City Woman, an assistant producer for a nationwide TV network news show, whose biological clock is pushing her hard to have a baby.   She says when she was younger she hoped to meet a man to share her life with but now she has concluded that if she wants to have someone to share her life she had better give birth to them.    She decides the best thing to do is to have a child via artificial insemination and picks the seeming genetically high quality husband of a friend as the donor.    She even gives an "artificial insemination" party with lots of her friends there including a man she once date and who may still love her (he narrates the story) but he is a reject as the father as he is way to short.   The party did feel a but "creepy" to me and I guess that was how it was meant to feel.

This is a good well written story that I am glad I have now read.  

Please share your experiences with Eugenides with us.

Mel u

1 comment:

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