“The Lazy River”
by Zadie Smith
from the December 18 & 25, 2017 issue of The New Yorker

The year is really winding down fast. Here we have the final 2017 issue of The New Yorker, and, with it, their final fiction of the year: a new, and relatively short, piece by Zadie Smith.

I am anxious to see what folks think of this one. It’s mostly an extended exploration of the metaphor of a lazy river as life. Not, to me, particularly interesting. In the January 3, 2011 issue of the magazine, Steven Millhauser published a much stronger story about a young boy on holiday in a river realizing that his life was passing swiftly to its conclusion. I loved it. Not that they are doing the exact same thing, but Millhauser’s handling of a similar metaphor is more profound. Smith’s essay here just isn’t my kind of thing, which I guess has me looking forward to a couple of weeks of relaxation before we see what we get from The New Yorker in 2018!

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