Friday, August 7, 2009

A Really Great Short Story

Jeffrey Eugenides, Fiction, “Baster,” The New Yorker, June 17, 1996, p. 82
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I thought that this was a really great short story. I read it recently in a collection of short stories from the New Yorker about New York. The ending of this one was quite good. It is going to be a movie or is a movie with Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston. The movie version might be quite good as long as they don't alter the story line, it doesn't need any changes.

ABSTRACT: Short story about a forty-year-old unmarried woman named Tomasina who decides to become pregnant by inseminating herself using a turkey baster and the sperm from a married friend named Roland. The story is narrated by Wally Mars, who many years before dated Tomasina and conceived a child with her, which she aborted. . . Tomasina had to give up the idea of meeting someone she could spend her life with. Instead, she had to give birth to someone who would spend life with her. Once she made her decision, she began to see men as walking spermatozoa. Wally suggests that she go to a sperm bank. “I don't just want smart. Brains aren't everything. I want the whole package.” It was becoming clear to me what my status was in the state of nature: it was low. It was somewhere around hyena. . . Tomasina invites him to a party on the day she plans to inseminate herself. There were a lot of people, maybe as many as seventy-five. Nobody was young. The men looked the way men have generally looked: uncomfortable yet agreeable. They looked like me. . . Mars meets the designated sperm donor, Roland, who showed up early and deposited his sperm in a cup hidden in the bathroom. At the party, Mars talks to Tomasina, who says, “This is depressing, Wally. This isn't how I wanted to have a baby. I thought this party would make it fun, but it's just depressing.” “Do you ever think about you and me?” “Wally, don't.” “Do you ever think about our kid?” “That was a long time ago.” Later in the evening, Mars goes into the bathroom and replaces Roland's sperm with his own. Ten months later, when the baby is born, Mars goes to see him and notices his own potato nose and buggy eyes. has a complete archive of The New Yorker, back to 1925. The complete archive is available to subscribers. If you subscribe to the magazine, register now to get access. If you don't, subscribe now.
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1 comment:

Loud Larry said...

Anything Jennifer Aniston is in is bound to be good. She is renowned for her the box-office success of her blockbusters.
You know Hollywood, they would NEVER alter a perfectly good story.