“Once Removed”
by Alexander MacLeod
from the February 7, 2022 issue of The New Yorker

Oh, it’s so nice to see Alexander MacLeod show up in The New Yorker. I really enjoyed his debut story collection, Light Lifting, which is now — I hesitate to check — oh my, twelve years old. Alexander is the son of acclaimed short story writer Alistair MacLeod, so I know part of my delight in seeing him here is because it reminds me of how much, aside from his own stories, I’ve enjoyed his father’s stories. Looking into this, MacLeod has a new collection coming from FSG in April! I am excited to get a taste in “Once Removed.”

I like what I’m seeing in the first few paragraphs:

She did not want to visit the old lady.

Amy studied the stroller, then the bags, then her boyfriend and the baby. She checked her phone: 11:26 a.m. It was time to go. Ninety degrees, ninety-per-cent humidity, and, according to Google, more than an hour each way. Each stage had its own icon, like the Olympic events, and all the separate minutes were broken up, then totalled at the end. walk 10 min, train 36 min, bus 15 min, walk 9 min.

Please let me know what you think when you’re done! I look forward to your comments!

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