Susan Minot

Susan Minot, in her episodic short story “Lust,” created a carrier bag through the theme of sexual encounters and a consistent first-person narrator. Chronology is sloughed off, and so is setting. Here’s an excerpt: “Lust”:

You’d try to wipe off the table or to do the dishes and Willie would untuck your shirt and get his hands up in front, standing behind you, making puffy noises in your ear.

He likes it when I wash my hair. He covers his face with it and if I start to say something, he goes, “Shush.”

For a long time, I had Philip on the brain. The less they notice you, the more you got them on the brain.

 My parents had no idea. Parents never really know what’s going on, especially when you’re away at school most of the time. If she met them, my mother might say, “Oliver seems nice” or “I like that one” without much of an opinion. If she didn’t like them, “He’s a funny fellow, isn’t he?” or “Johnny’s perfectly nice but a drink of water.” My father was too shy to talk to them at all unless they played sports and he’d ask them about that.

The sand was almost cold underneath because the sun was gone. Eben piled a mound over my feet, patting around my ankles, the ghostly surf rumbling behind him in the dark. He was the first person I ever knew who died, later that summer, in a car crash.