“A Love Story”
by Samantha Hunt
from the May 22, 2017 issue of The New Yorker
We’ve posted on only one story by Samantha Hunt, and that was nearly seven years ago, yet I remember it well. Not for good reasons. That story, “The Yellow” (thoughts here), has come to represent much of what I dislike about contemporary American short fiction, and New Yorker fiction in particular. Weighty but meaningless metaphors, trite sexual encounters, redundancy imposed because it looks strong (“urgently time-sensitive”), etc.
However, I was one of the only ones to dislike “The Yellow” at all, let along so much. Hunt has impressed many readers more discerning than I. Her second novel, The Invention of Everything Else, was a finalist for the Orange Prize in 2009. Hunt’s most recent novel, 2016’s Mr. Splitfoot, received positive reviews upon its release. And we are now seven years on, so why don’t I just settle down and give Hunt another chance? Time may force me out of this one, again, but please do let me know whether “A Love Story” works and whether room should be made for it! I do not think I’ll go for it otherwise.
I’m looking forward to your thoughts on this piece below!