by J.M. Coetzee
from the December 4, 2017 issue of The New Yorker
It’s not every day one of my favorite authors — indeed , one in my Pantheon (see here) — has a story in The New Yorker, but today we have J.M. Coetzee’s very short story “The Dog.” It’s so short — and, I think, interesting — that I quickly read it while getting this post ready.
I don’t believe I have ever read a short story by Coetzee. His only other story in The New Yorker was 2005’s “The Blow,” which went on to become part of his novel Slow Man. I don’t see an interview about “The Dog” to let us know if it’s an excerpt of a forthcoming novel or if it is a standalone story. If it’s standalone, it is fine. I liked it. Coetzee is, as usual, adept at creating an altercation, and examining the mental state of those involved, in a few short sentences. However, if it is standalone, I imagine many will be disappointed as it seems to beg to be part of a larger, more involved, story.
I look forward to your thoughts below!