“Beyond Imagining”
by Lore Segal
from the June 10, 2024 issue of The New Yorker

Just a couple of weeks after we got new fiction from Thomas McGuane, who is 84 years old, we get new fiction from Lore Segal, who is 96! I love it! Segal’s first novel was published 60 years ago, in 1964, when she was in her mid-30s. What a treat to get something from her now. For those interested, we have gotten a few stories in the magazine from her over the past few year (“Ladies Lunch” in 2017, and “Dandelion” in 2019; each has a bunch of comments on this site, and you can see those posts by clicking on her name below this post).

Here is how “Beyond Imagining” begins:


Bessie, Lotte, Ruth, Farah, and Bridget, who had been lunching together for half a century, joined in later years by Ilka, Hope, and, occasionally, Lucinella, had agreed without the need for discussion that they were not going to pass, pass away, and under no circumstances on. They were going to die. It was now several years since Lotte had died in an assisted-living facility. Then, when covid worried their children, Ruth had undertaken to Zoom ladies’ lunch. She suggested that anyone who had something to say should show a hand.

I’m excited to read this and I will post my comments below! In the meantime, feel free to do the same! I look forward to reading your thoughts!

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