“The Other Party”
by Matthew Klam
from the December 19, 2022 issue of The New Yorker

It’s not often The New Yorker has a holiday story around the holidays, but we get one this year, and with an author I still know nothing about, though he had a story in the magazine back in 2020 (it was in March’s issue that year, so I hope no one feels guilty if it got a bit lost in the ensuing weeks and months and years). He has two books to his name that I can find: 2000’s Sam the Cat and Other Stories and 2017’s Who Is Rich?

Here is how “The Other Party” starts.

My daughter walked into the house with a boy named Brendan. She came into the kitchen limping a little, her mascara smeared, and lay down on the floor in front of the stove. I was dipping a cookie in icing, checking the color to see if it needed more green. Every year, in December, our block had a Christmas-cookie swap, a ritual that had become one of the less disgusting parts of the holiday season.

I hope you’re having a good end of the year!

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