“After the Funeral”
by Tessa Hadley
from the March 28, 2022 issue of The New Yorker

Ozick a few weeks ago. Keegan and Groff before that. The New Yorker is hitting a lot of my sweet spots lately! And it continues this week, with a new story from one of my favorite short story authors. Tessa Hadley is a regular contributor to the magazine, and I hope it doesn’t stop any time soon.

“After the Funeral” introduces itself quite nicely in the first paragraph. And it does so while intriguing me to continue:

After the funeral, the two little girls, aged nine and seven, accompanied their grief-stricken mother home. Naturally, they were also grief-stricken, but, then again, they hadn’t known their father very well and hadn’t enormously liked him. He was an airline pilot, and they’d preferred it when he was away working; being alert little girls, they’d picked up intimations that he preferred it, too. This was in the nineteen-seventies, when air travel was still considered glamorous. Philip Lyons had flown 747s across the Atlantic for B.O.A.C., until he died of a heart attack—luckily not while in the air but on the ground, prosaically, eating breakfast in a New York hotel room. The airline had flown him home free of charge.

I love Hadley’s explorations of the lives of girls and women, and this promises to continue in that area.

Please comment below with your thoughts on the story.

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