One element is always on display at this hour: the spectacle of childless, two-income professional couples, one of whom will be resentfully walking their expensive, neurotic, designer dog, taken out each evening to wee on the border plantings and scurry back inside.

Sister Patsy

Reading one’s own work after a long interval gives one a certain distance. It has become, in a sense, strange. I am moved and distracted, I speed up and slow down, as with any reading. Like any other reader, I puzzle over its meaning.

Electric Ferry

Or perhaps these are the inevitable themes of a certain kind of writing in a certain kind of era. The narrator of the story of the Venus on the Malecón believes that a Time of Terror calls for the most elementary of reconstructions: “primitive materials . . . life histories, fictions, collections.”