“The New Order,” by Karen E. Bender
Appeared in a collection of the same title; recommended by Molly Antopol in Electric Literature‘s Recommended Reading, October 31st, 2018
27 pages, according to the commentary; 7,716 words
Oh man, this is intense. Like the narrator, I kept waiting for her to say something about it—an apology, an explanation. So much suspense for such a simple story. I read it pretty fast, wanting to know what happened next, and didn’t realize it was so long. I love the way the character ages in a single sentence: “I was forty, then fifty”—and the way her adolescent lie remains terribly, urgently important to her and to the reader. Clearly I should read more Bender. I loved “Anything for Money,” despite my mild criticism of it.
Tagging this “failures of human connection” even though the two characters do make a connection of sorts.
I’m not sure what the title means to be honest.
I noticed a few typos in the Recommended Reading post. Also, the “Jump to story” link is broken, so you have to scroll quickly past the commentary at the top. In my opinion they should put the commentary at the bottom. Not that I don’t enjoy commentary, I just want to read it after the story.