“The Monkey Who Speaks”
by Han Ong
from the September 13, 2021 issue of The New Yorker

It’s nice to see Han Ong back in the pages of The New Yorker. After a thirty-year career, Ong’s first New Yorker story was published in 2019. Another came in 2020. And now we have a third!

I am running late this week due to the holiday, so I’ll just post the first taste of the story here:

Roscoe could stand to lose twenty pounds. Closer to thirty would be even better. It would ease the burden on his heart. One blessing, though: he’s still ambulatory. At his most intrepid, he makes do with an aluminum cane. Not for him the “suave” models he and Flavia marvelled over in a catalogue “for the dapper older gentleman,” which had appeared in Roscoe’s mailbox, but with somebody else’s name on the address label. One cane had a detachable metal-eagle handle and a tapered body whose tip was sheathed in copper. Another had a concealed dagger that you accessed by unscrewing the head, which was of a beagle, deceitfully hapless.

I hope you’ll share your thoughts on the story below!

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