Showing 1201 - 1207 of 1207 Fiction annotations

The River Styx Runs Upstream

Simmons, Dan

Last Updated: Nov-08-1995
Annotated by:
Shafer, Audrey

Primary Category: Literature / Fiction

Genre: Short Story

Summary:

A young boy's mother has just died, and out of grief and love, the father has her "resurrected." The family is told to think of the returned mother as having had a mild stroke, but, in fact, she wanders about the house like an inexpressive automaton. Her return from the dead leads to the destruction of the family: the eventual suicides of the boy's older brother and father. The boy, now a young man, becomes a Resurrectionist himself. He narrates the story with a direct, simple tone, which belies the eerie conclusion: he returns to the home of his youth, where his "family" awaits him.

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Semper Idem

London, Jack

Last Updated: Aug-08-1994
Annotated by:
Moore, Pamela

Primary Category: Literature / Fiction

Genre: Short Story

Summary:

Doctor Bicknell is a very respected surgeon, known for daring. For him, lives mean nothing, but cases mean everything. He is happy this morning, for a fascinating case is being released. The patient, known only by the name Semper Idem had cut his throat. The doctor miraculously saved him and on releasing him, advised him to next time keep his throat tilted back. The man returns the same day. This time he has done the job so well Doctor Bicknell cannot save him. Bicknell is not upset; indeed, he is rather proud that the man did such a good job.

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Annotated by:
Coulehan, Jack

Primary Category: Literature / Fiction

Genre: Short Story

Summary:

An astrologer and palm-reader is about to close up shop for the day. He tries to induce one last client to buy his services. The man initially resists, but then gives in. The astrologer then reads in the man's past that he had once been stabbed and left for dead in his village. The man had all this time been searching for his assailant. The astrologer reveals that the assailant had ?died four months ago in a far-off town.? The client is relieved and goes home. When the astrologer returns to his home, he tells his wife that once he had tried to kill a man.

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The Fairy Godfathers

Updike, John

Last Updated: Jul-11-1994
Annotated by:
Coulehan, Jack

Primary Category: Literature / Fiction

Genre: Short Story

Summary:

Two lovers discuss their psychiatrists. Oz is Tod's psychiatrist, Rhadamanthus is Pumpkin's. They interpret their daily lives in light of what their psychiatrists say. In fact, their psychiatrists tell them how they feel about each other.

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My Love Has Dirty Fingernails

Updike, John

Last Updated: Jul-11-1994
Annotated by:
Coulehan, Jack

Primary Category: Literature / Fiction

Genre: Short Story

Summary:

A woman enters the therapist's office, sits down, and begins a psychotherapy session. She reports her feelings about recently seeing a former lover. The therapist gives a lengthy, aggressive, and over-theoretical interpretation. The client is angry and unconvinced, yet they quietly make an appointment for next week's session.

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The Ship Who Sang

McCaffrey, Anne

Last Updated: May-20-1994
Annotated by:
Moore, Pamela

Primary Category: Literature / Fiction

Genre: Novel

Summary:

In the future envisioned in the novel, many children are born with severe physical handicaps, the result of toxic environmental conditions. Their brains, however, are perfectly healthy. Scientists place the infants' stunted bodies in mechanical shells, then train them to perform complex technical tasks. At adolescence, their brains are removed from their bodies and placed in machines. Their machines are their bodies, over which they have complete control. The Ship Who Sang is the story of one of these children who is placed inside the hull of a space ship. She falls in love with one of the fleshly men who board her. The resulting trauma is resolved when it is decided that they will be partnered forever.

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Dr. Cahn's Visit

Stern, Richard

Last Updated: Dec-01-1993
Annotated by:
Coulehan, Jack

Primary Category: Literature / Fiction

Genre: Short Story

Summary:

An elderly, demented Dr. Cahn ("his mind had slipped its moorings years ago") is taken by his son to the hospital to visit Dr. Cahn's wife who is dying of cancer. They hold hands. She is touched and pleased that he has come, but sad at his inattention as his mind wanders. In the taxi on the way home, Dr. Cahn asks, "Are we home?"

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