a writer and a reader. Perhaps it’s because of a short attention span or because they are easier to digest on my commute into work. Like many short story lovers, I came to the form through some American masters: Carver, Cheever, Fitzgerald, and Hemingway.
Unfortunately, as a feminist writer, I confess it wasn’t until much later that I devoured the many important female short story masters. I plan to spend the rest of my life making up for this deficit.
Aidt’s collection glimpses the mundanity of life—making jam, buying groceries, a bike ride with the family—and at the moment the reader least expects it, she infuses each story with violence. In “She Doesn’t Cry,” a girl of three waits at a train platform with her father. We see the world through her precocious eyes, as she grasps at the world of adults.
Whereas most of the other stories in Baboon turn on an assault, here the great tragedy is the little girl’s realization that she has left her beloved doll behind on the platform as her train pulls away. Though more subdued than the other stories, the impact is felt no less because the reader knows this is the girl’s introduction into a life in which loss can happen at any moment.
Our hearts break for the girl who doesn’t cry, as she steels herself for the many tragedies ahead of her.