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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Walk With Elizanne by John Updike

I absolutely love this story. This is about David Kern who goes back to his to 50 year reunion where he finds a long lost schoolmate named Elizanne.
"As the classmates began to shuffle toward the door and whatever fate the next five years would bring, Elizanne came up to David, resting a hand on his forearm and speaking with a firm, lilting urgency, almost as if she were speaking to herself.
"David," she said, in this running murmur, "there's something I've been wanting for years to say to you. You were very important to me. You were the first boy who ever walked me home and --- and kissed me."
Shortly after he replies:
'"I remember that walk," he said. But did he? The walk; for weeks after the reunion his mind could not let go of the walk she reminded him they had taken.'

The end of the story reverts back to the walk he had with her.

She says, "I chatter. I go on too much."
"You didn't. It was like you were singing to me. . . . And there was even more," she said . . . that I wanted to say."
"You will, he promised . . . I want to hear it all," he told Elizanne. "We have t-tons of time."

John Updike does a masterful job at capturing David's innermost thoughts and struggles to relive and even remember the past. The Walk with Elizanne is definitely one of the best short stories I have read from the year 2004.

1 comment:

shersy said...

I'm so discouraged! I checked our library (system - several libraries included) and they don't have this book!!! They have 2005 and 2001. I'll have to read about these great stories here - I so enjoy reading your descriptions - they make me want to find out what happens! Love you!