“Face Time”
by Lorrie Moore
from the September 28, 2020 issue of The New Yorker

Lorrie Moore is back in the pages of The New Yorker. The last story she published in the magazine was “Referential,” back in 2012; “Referential” was a gloss on Nabokov’s “Symbols and Signs,” and I loved it (though other commenters did not).

In “Face Time” Moore seems to be addressing current horrors of dying remotely due to the coronavirus. Here’s how it begins:

I asked my father if he knew where he was and he said, “Kind of.”

“You are in the hospital. Your hip surgery went well. But there is a virus and you have been found to have it. You are contagious. No one can get near. It’s happening all over the world. You caught it in your assisted-living facility. The chef had it.”

I’m not sure I’m interested in a story about all of this at this time, so that’s all I’ve read. I have faith that Moore isn’t simply writing an emotional tale about something we’ve at least seen in the news if we haven’t lived through it ourselves, so I certainly am interested . . . just not on this particular day.

I’m definitely interested in your thoughts at any time you wish to leave them, though. Feel free to comment about the story below.

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