Wednesday, March 01, 2023

Short Story Wednesday: The Stories of Richard Bausch: "The Fireman's Wife"

 A review a few days ago of Richard Bausch's new book THE PLAYHOUSE, sent me to my very much culled bookshelves to find a copy of this collection from 20 years ago. This story was first published in THE ATLANTIC in 1989. A young couple is having trouble early into the marriage. The husband, a firefighter, seems immature, uncaring, a poor choice made in haste. Jane is getting ready to leave him, despite the words of a friend, "Wait for love to come around and surprise you again." As Jane is pulling clothes out of her closet, two colleagues bring the husband home, he has badly burned his hands fighting a fire that killed another man on his team. Jane tends to her husband and realizes that her rush into marriage need not be repeated with a rush out of marriage and decides to wait a bit. 

Bausch wrote many stories along this line. Now domestic issues seem more the province of women. It seems to me Robert Bausch was also a writer. I will have to check. 

Todd Mason

George Kelley 

Kevin Tipple 

Jerry House 


Steve Lewis 

Casual Debris


Todd Mason said...

Robert Bausch, I believe Richard's twin, was indeed a fiction writer, and that Richard rec'd somewhat more attention I think can't have been too comfortable, but was probably accepted and moved past. They were both associated with George Mason U, where I took my BA in Writing & Editing a couple of decades after the RBs did.

I dunno, I think men still publish on domestic matters, but perhaps they aren't collected and touted as readily while doing so. --on Robert, in memoriam

TM said...

Frank Babics and Steve Lewis both have relevant items today:

George said...

I remember "The Fireman's Wife" from an anthology I read a while ago. Richard Bausch writes stories that make you think.

Jeff Meyerson said...

I read 79 stories (and finished four collections) in February, so even with a slow start in January I've almost caught up to where I was last year at this time. This week I finished the Claire Keegan collection ANTARCTICA and I'm close to finishing the large Edith Pearlman collection (BINOCULAR VISION). The Keegan was good but prefer her more recent FOSTER. Still waiting for others of hers to come in to the library. The Pearlman is quite interesting. Though most are set in the suburban Boston area, there is a variety, including several post-WWII Europe stories and others around the country and the world. "The Story" gives you the story of the long-term friendship of two couples in seven pages. "The Little Wife" (one of the newer stories) also deals with the long-term friendship of two couples. She shines in these stories. In "Relic and Type," a man looking for something to occupy his time after his retirement (as his health starts to deteriorate) decides to learn Japanese, as his only grandson has married a Japanese woman. Very interesting story.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Will look wider for Pearlman.

TracyK said...

That story sounds good. If I encounter stories by this author at the book sale I will pick them up there. There are quite a few of them, so it is quite possible something will show up. I was looking on Amazon to see if there were any anthologies on Kindle at a price I want to pay but not at this point. But I did find that we have a story by him on the Kindle from LIVING IN THE WEATHER OF THE WORLD, titled "Still Here, Still There". So I will try that one.

Also it is very interesting that twin brothers are both well-known writers.

When we subscribed to The New Yorker online, we also subscribed to The Atlantic at the same time. We have enjoyed them both.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I enjoy them both too. I remember when THE NEW YORKER would take unsolicited manuscripts but they discontinued it before I got up the nerve to try them.