“To Sunland”
by Lauren Groff
from the July 4, 2022 issue of The New Yorker

More Lauren Groff! I am becoming a bigger and bigger fan with everything I read, even when I read something I don’t like quite as much as something else she’s written. I’m very intrigued by her projects, and I think she is a fantastic writer. The way she adds darkness is remarkable. Here is how “To Sunland” begins:

He woke to an angry house and darkness in the windows. Aunt Maisie had packed his suitcase the night before and left it near the front door, and so he dressed himself without turning on the light and came out and dropped the pajamas on top of the suitcase. She was in the kitchen, banging the pans around.

Buddy, she said when she saw him, set yourself down and get some of this food in you. Her eyes were funny, all red and puffy, and he didn’t like to see them like that. When he sat down, she came up behind him and hugged his head so hard it hurt, and her hands smelled like soap and cigarettes and grease, and he pulled away.

There we go! I hope your summer is allowing for some reading, and that that is bringing you joy and solace and comfort and fun. I look forward to reading this one, and I hope you’ll share your thoughts below in the meantime!

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