“Deaf and Blind”
by Lara Vapnyar
from the April 24, 2017 issue of The New Yorker
This will be Lara Vapnyar’s fourth work in The New Yorker, following “Fischer vs. Spassky” in 2012 (our thoughts here), “Katania” in 2013 (our thoughts here), and “Waiting for the Miracle” from almost exactly one year ago (our thoughts here).
Vapnyar’s stories have been highly autobiographical. After growing up in Moscow, she moved to the United States in 1994 and started to write in English. Here stories that I’ve read have often explored the immigrant experience, and, indeed, have felt like they’ve come from specific events in her life.
In her interview with Deborah Treisman (here), Vapnyar calls this story, about a woman who falls in love with a deaf and blind man, “the most autobiographical of my stories.” It appears to be based on a particular childhood memory. I’m curious how it translates into fiction.
Please feel free to leave your thoughts below!