In March, The Paris Review launched The Art of Distance, a newsletter highlighting unlocked archive pieces that resonate with the staff of the magazine, quarantine-appropriate writing on the Daily, resources from our peer organizations, and more. Read Emily Nemens’s introductory letter here, and find the latest unlocked archive selection below.
“This week we continue our serialization of Edward P. Jones’s ‘Marie,’ a timely story from our archive about a tough-minded woman who seeks connection while facing the challenges of aging and bureaucracy in Washington, D.C. If you missed part 1, you can read it here and then scroll down for the next installment of the story. We’ll post parts 3 and 4 in the coming weeks. Don’t forget that subscribers to the print magazine need only link their account for digital access to a treasure trove of stories, poems, landmark interviews, art portfolios, and more. As ever, we wish you a safe and sane week and hope that this story provides focus, calm, and a bit of relief. Read on for part 2 of ‘Marie,’ by Edward P. Jones.” —Craig Morgan Teicher, Digital Director
Nothing fit Marie’s theory about life like the weather in Washington. Two days before, the temperature had been in the forties, and yesterday it had dropped to the low twenties, then warmed up a bit with the afternoon, bringing on snow flurries. Today the weather people on the radio had said it would warm up enough to wear just a sweater, but Marie was wearing her coat. And tomorrow, the weather people said, it would be in the thirties, with maybe an inch or so of snow.
Appointments near twelve o’clock were always risky, because the Social Security people often took off for lunch long before noon and returned sometime after one. And except for a few employees who seemed to work through their lunch hours, the place shut down. Marie had never been interviewed by someone willing to work through the lunch hour. Today, though the appointment was for eleven, she waited until one thirty before the woman at the front of the waiting room told her she would have to come back another day, because the woman who handled her case was not in. Read More