Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Morning Reading: Marisa Silver

Marisa Silver is the author of Babe in Paradise, a collection of short stories, and the novels No Direction Home and The God of War, finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

From the September 28 edition of The New Yorker:.

by Marisa Silver

Vivian and Shelly lived in downtown Los Angeles, in an industrial space that belonged, nominally, to a ribbon factory, whose warehouse was attached. Shelly had discovered it one night when the band she belonged to then had played at an impromptu concert there. When the evening was over and everyone had cleared out, Shelly and a man she’d met that evening stayed on. The man left soon afterward, but Shelly did not. She worked out an arrangement with the owner of the ribbon factory: the rent would be paid in cash, and if Shelly was discovered by the housing authorities the owner would claim that she was a squatter.

Vivian met Shelly at the temp agency where they both applied for work. She had just finished two years of community college in Oklahoma and moved to L.A. Shelly offered her a small room in return for half the rent. She couldn’t guarantee that they wouldn’t be thrown out in a week, or a month, but it was cheaper than the motel where Vivian had been staying, and she wouldn’t have to get out of bed two or three times a night to check the lock on the door, whenever a car parking in the lot or a drunken couple pinballing past caused it to rattle in a way that unnerved her. At Shelly’s place, the thumps and grinds of machinery could be heard through the walls during the day. In addition to Vivian’s room, there was a doorless bathroom and a large open space. A rolling garage door served as the only window. You pulled on a chain and by some miracle of simple machinery the metal door ratcheted open with a satisfying flourish that appealed to Shelly’s sense of drama.

To read the rest, click here.

1 comment:

Dawn said...

Nice read. "God of War" is one of my new favorites.

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