Short story: “The Ivory Acrobat”

by look i have opinions

“The Ivory Acrobat,” by Don DeLillo

According to this, first appeared in Granta 25: The Murderee, Autumn 1988, pages 199 to 212 (buy the issue, subscribe, or, if you’re already a subscriber, read the story online); collected in The Angel Esmeralda

Around 14 pages, who knows how many words

For some reason I continue to find it surprising when DeLillo tackles conventional subject matter in a straightforward way. Like “The Runner,” this story is about the fear of terrible, seemingly random events, and pivots on a small act of kindness that makes them bearable. It worked better for me than that story, maybe because it’s less predictable, maybe because I’m getting more comfortable with straightforwardness. (I have kind of a ridiculous habit: I balk at stories I don’t understand, but I also balk at stories that I understand too easily and too well.)