“My Wonderful Description of Flowers”
by Danielle Dutton
from the December 5, 2022 issue of The New Yorker
I don’t know Danielle Dutton’s writing work, but let’s just get right to it: I love this opening paragraph.
Last night my husband dreamed I left him, though my husband never dreams, or if he does he dreams of nothing—of sending an e-mail, petting the cat. “I live not in dreams but in contemplation of a reality that is perhaps the future,” Rilke, and not my husband, said. My husband brought up his dream over breakfast, but I had an early day, errands, a million meetings. I was almost out the door.
This is my kind of writing these days, and to bring in Rilke, and in such clever way, I’m very excited to see what Dutton’s writing is like.
It’s not too surprising that I’m a fan. Dutton worked for Dalkey Archive for a while and then founded Dorothy, a publishing project, in 2010. I’ve been a fan all these years! And now I’m encouraged greatly to go check out her writing. Catapult published her novel Margaret the First, so that’s where I’m going soon!
Let me know what you think of this story and if you’ve read any of her other work!