- Willms, Janice
- Date of entry: Jun-14-2004
An older woman is diagnosed as having cancer. The story is of the progression of her symptoms and the effects of her illness and eventual death on her husband and grown children. The years of silent compliance with the expectations of children and spouse begin to erode as the woman becomes sicker. The relationship between the aging couple, and the place of the ill mother in the priorities of her children clarify. The tale ends with the death, and a tiny glimpse of resolution of decades of strife and unexpressed rage between man and wife.
First published: 1956. Winner of the O. Henry Award for best American short story (1961).
Tell Me a Riddle