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Vol. 13, No. 4

Waiting
by Stuart Dybek

In grad school I read an essay, I don’t recall by whom, about waiting in Hemingway. There’s that couple at the station in “Hills Like White Elephants,” waiting for the express from Barcelona, and “A Day’s Wait,” a very short story about a little boy with a fever who is waiting to die. It’s a situation to which Hemingway repeatedly returns, as in the considerably longer “The Snows of Kilimanjaro,” where a man with a gangrened leg awaits death while recalling his youth in Paris; nor is he waiting alone—the hyenas and vultures are waiting, too. In other stories the men are alone, waiting out the night: Nick Adams in “A Way You’ll Never Be”; Mr. Frazer in “The Gambler, the Nun, and the Radio,” listening to a hospital radio that plays only at night—a clever touch—as he waits out the pain of his fractured leg. They are all wounded in one way or another.

To read the rest of this story and others from the Winter 2009 / 2010 issue, please purchase a copy from our online store.

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