I don’t feel much depth to this story, but I did enjoy it, and it isn’t without meaning, as I’ll get to in a minute. Tom is a plastic surgeon, and his brother Roger is a dentist. They’ve been competitive forever and don’t seem to like each other much, which raises the question of why Roger comes around. Tom is married to Sandy, and for New Yorker fiction this is an unusual relationship. These people actually seem to love each other. They aren’t cheating (or, if they are, it isn’t serious), and except for a minor quarrel they get along just fine. Tom isn’t old, but he is aging, and that is one of the themes of this story. Another theme is blindness. Tom recalls his date with a blind girl, a recollection that is tied up with his hatred for his brother, but the important thing here is that he considers that her blindness is not the absence of light, but the overabundance of light. And that’s something that is happening with Tom. His life is so good that he can’t see it. Until the end, when he concludes that it’s worth fighting for.
March 2, 2009: “Brother on Sunday” by A. M. Homes.