After Claude (New York Review Books Classics) by Iris Owens

By Iris Owens

Harriet is leaving her boyfriend Claude, “the French rat.” That a minimum of is how Harriet sees issues, whether it’s Claude who has simply requested Harriet to depart his Greenwich Village residence. good, a technique or one other she has no goal of leaving. on the contrary, she's going to remain and certain revenge—or may have if Claude had no longer had her unceremoniously evicted. nonetheless, although moved out, Harriet isn't approximately to maneuver on. no longer in any respect. Girlfriends circle round to patronize and recommend, yet Harriet in simple terms takes offense, and it’s effortless to appreciate why. simply because mad and maddening as she might be, Harriet sees prior the well mannered platitudes that everybody else is content material to spout and stay through. She is an unblinkered, unbuttoned, unrelenting, and mainly bitingly humorous prophetess of all that's unsuitable with women’s lives and hearts—until, in a shock twist, she reveals a savior in a dismal room on the Chelsea resort.

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Example text

Okay, I get a bit carried away. Maybe I’m too insistent, too eager to communicate. But that just runs in my blood. ” I felt myself babbling to gain time, to find a foothold, because the alarming depths of Claude’s anger made me feel like the innocent wife who has stopped to admire a sunset and is about to be pushed off the cliff by her homicidal husband. “Like hell. You don’t communicate. You trample over other people’s feelings. You don’t even listen to what anyone else says, except to tell them how stupid they are.

Claude waited, but not necessarily for me. He was searching nervously up and down the hostile streets. I knew he was having a crisis about whether to spend three dollars plus on a taxi ride down to the Village or to risk a knifing/ mugging expedition on the IRT, a soul-searching choice for a Frenchman to make. “Decide, sweetheart,” I said, when I caught up to him. ” Claude pretended not to hear me, an act of male intelligence that never fails to impress me, and waved at a cab with a glowing off-duty sign.

For instance, I’d like to ask you something right now. ” “Okay, black ants. ” Claude’s face went soft with suffering. He became the handsome young priest trying to coax the suicidal maniac off the ledge of the thirty-seventh floor. “You’re right, Harriet. ” “Stop calling him a fag,” Claude shouted, his sallow skin suddenly flushed. ” “Thank you,” I shouted back, because there’s a limit to even the most understanding woman’s capacity for abuse. “I make you sick? Some skinny guy schlepping a hunk of wood that weighs a ton up a steep hill for the express purpose of getting nailed to it, that was beautiful?

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