The Late Novels of Gene Hackman
A Short Story by Rivka Calchen
December 9, 2013
The New Yorker
J, a young writer with some minor success, is invited to a writer's conference in Key West. She isn't perceptive and she is judgmental; older people, in her eyes, have lost their power and ability to be interesting. She has invited her stepmother to join her (Q) and spends a lot of time worrying and wondering about this Burmese woman. The best parts of the story are the weird conversations, the small details about the other attendees, the confrontation. Also, there is a moment at the end where J feels hopeful.