Death Panel

It turns out that it was just a bad mood last Friday.  Food didn’t taste good, either.  In light of obvious human frailty, I feel obligated to revisit the stories I clicked through all day.  I’ve made a mental note not to look for good writing on Fridays, because I probably won’t find it.

This weekend, I found Death Panel by Belle Boggs.  This family, carefully structured in off- screen documentary moments, is admirably reprehensible.  It’s also immediately recognizable to those acquainted with a possible future of suburban toil, those committed to the guilt, emotional distance, and family obligation inherent in what passes for elder care in the US.

The people, however, are funny and dark, and fully responsible for all that they come to stand for:

“Our father, for example, had just this spring had knee replacement surgery—not of his own natural knees, but of the artificial knees he’d had installed eight years ago. They’d been replaced with titanium, and we feared he might live forever.”

Boggs’s first book is Mattaponi Queen: Stories (Graywolf Press, 2010).

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