“Backpack”
by Tony Earley
from the November 5, 2018 issue of The New Yorker

Tony Earley last published a story in The New Yorker in 2012. I remember a little bit about “Jack and the Mad Dog” (see here). I read it quite a while after it was published, but in the time since I don’t think I’ve thought much about it or about Earley’s work. This should be a good opportunity to remember and to reevaluate.

The story begins with a list of items, eventually making its way to this interesting item that requires some more elaboration.

The gun, an H&R .38, had been his grandfather’s. Because Charlotte hated guns, he hadn’t told her while they were dating that he owned one. Telling her after they got married would have made him seem dishonest, and telling her after Carly was born would have cost him his ass. So he hadn’t told her. They had been married twenty-nine years.

I hope you are all enjoying some good reading time as the year winds down. This magazine is dated November 5, and I just cannot quite accept that we’ve essentially got two months left of 2018. Here’s to a good read! I look forward to your thoughts.

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