Guide White People (Vintage Contemporaries)

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Or the girls who witnessed the drowning, inert, snacking? The girl wants to be in love. Her face is thin with the thinness of a failed lover. It is so difficult! Love is concentration, she feels, but she can remember nothing. She tries to recollect two things a day. In the morning with her coffee, she tries to remember and in the evening, with her first bourbon and water, she tries to remember as well. She has been trying to remember the birth of her child now for several days. Nothing returns to her.

Life is so intrusive! Everyone was talking. There was too much conversation!

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She wished that they would turn the radio on instead and be still. The baby inside her was hard and glossy as an ear of corn. She wanted to say something witty or charming so that they would know she was fine and would stop talking. While she was thinking of something perfectly balanced and amusing to say, the baby was born.

We never discover a cause for her dissociation and neither does she.

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We get only the fallout, the effects, sentences piling together without a clear destination other than dissociation. The girl goes to the telephone and dials hurriedly. It is very late. She whispers, not wanting to wake the child. There is static and humming. It came and saw you dreaming and it went back to where it was. Her consciousness reels between childhood and adulthood; memories of her parents compound with adult experiences with her lover in Mexico. The result is startling, disorienting, and often upsetting. And again, Williams deploys her exclamation marks like artful verbal pricks.

I want to explain.

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There are only the two of us, the child and me. I sleep alone. Jace is gone. My hair is wavy, my posture good.

I drink a little. Food bores me. It takes so long to eat. Being honest, I must say I drink. I drink, perhaps, more than moderately, but that is why there is so much milk. I have a terrible thirst. Rum and Coke. Grocery wine. Anything that cools. Gin and juices of all sorts. My breasts are always aching, particularly the left, the earnest one, which the baby refuses to favor. First comforts must be learned, I suppose. Who is Jace, and where has he gone? We never really find out, but we do get puzzling, upsetting clues, like this one:. It has always been Jace only. We were children together.

We lived in the same house. It was a big house on the water.


Jace remembers it precisely. I remember it not as well. There were eleven people in that house and a dog beneath it, tied night and day to the pilings. Eleven of us and always a baby. The diapers and the tiny clothes, hanging out to dry, for years! Is Jace the father of the baby? The tingling ambiguities remain as the story concludes, the narrator still waiting on a return that may or may not happen. And one of her dog stories. And grief stories. And unnamed-girl-hero stories. It is set in the Florida Keys, where Williams lived for some time—her early career was in doing research for the U.

The story is ultimately about perception. He scolds her:. The dog had a famous trick. Everyone had been amazed. Silence was a thing entrusted to the animals, the girl thought. Many things that human words have harmed are restored again by the silence of animals.

When Were White People Invented?

No—I want to keep shopping. Order by , and we can deliver your NextDay items by. In your cart, save the other item s for later in order to get NextDay delivery. We moved your item s to Saved for Later. There was a problem with saving your item s for later. You can go to cart and save for later there. White People. Average rating: 3. Allan Gurganus. Walmart Tell us if something is incorrect.

Book Format: Choose an option. Add to Cart. Product Highlights Written with flair, wit, and deep humanity, this award-winning volume confirms Allan Gurganus as one of the finest writers of our time. About This Item We aim to show you accurate product information. Manufacturers, suppliers and others provide what you see here, and we have not verified it. See our disclaimer. Here are war heroes bewildered by the complex negotiations of family life, former debutantes called upon to muster resources they never knew they had, vacationing senior citizens confronted by their own bravery, and married men brought up short by the marvelous possibilities of entirely different lives.

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