Dad Fiction – Charles Yu’s “Fable”

But what kind of story could the man tell? The man wasn’t a good enough storyteller. He’d had a kind of allegorical thing going for him once, but he’d lost the trail. No map, no legend. He no longer knew what stood for what.

He looked around. He was in the darkest part of the forest. He didn’t know this area. The cottage, the clearing in the woods, it was all so small, and so far from everything. The sounds coming from the trees were frightening. The man realized now what he had done. He had tried to ignore the story.

From Charles Yu’s short story in the New Yorker, Fable, which I thought was a nice mix of irony and emotion. It risks sentimentality, but for me at least, as a sometimes anxious dad, trying to keep my life together with the rented cottage and whatnot (and a little blacksmithing on the side), trying to figure out where I’m at in my story (aren’t we all?), I found it moving. Yu’s discussion of the story, if you like that sort of thing, is here.

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