Fatherless Fiction

January 10, 2014 | 2

Recommended Reading: Nicole Krauss’s new short story, “I Am Asleep but My Heart Is Awake,” at The New Republic. “My mother had died when I was three. We had already dealt with death, in our way we’d agreed to be finished with it. Then, without warning, my father broke our agreement.”

is an associate editor for The Millions and an editor in Atlanta. She tweets at @temalone.


  1. This caught me off guard. The New Republic publishes fiction now? But now it makes sense: Krauss is the editor’s sister-in-law. This so perfectly represents the insularity and cronyism in American fiction these days. You just can’t make this stuff up.

    Serious question: what about this story (and Krauss in general) led you to recommend it? It’s so unoriginal and insipid that I just can’t for the life of me understand why this piece, out of hundreds that are published every day, stands out. How would you define Krauss’ style? What sets her apart from other writers? What makes this story different than the “person dealing with a parent’s death” stories that are churned out daily in undergraduate workshops?

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