Her New York Times obituary quotes from one of her stories.


“I saw my ex-husband in the street. I was sitting on the steps of the new library.

“Hello, my life, I said. We had once been married for twenty-seven years, so I felt justified.

“He said, What? What life? No life of mine.

“I said, O.K. I don’t argue when there’s real disagreement. I got up and went into the library to see how much I owed them.

“The librarian said $32 even and you’ve owed it for eighteen years. I didn’t deny anything. Because I don’t understand how time passes. I have had those books. I have often thought of them. The library is only two blocks away.

“My ex-husband followed me to the Books Returned desk. He interrupted the librarian, who had more to tell. In many ways, he said, as I look back, I attribute the dissolution of our marriage to the fact that you never invited the Bertrams to dinner.

“That’s possible, I said. But really, if you remember: first, my father was sick that Friday, then the children were born, then I had those Tuesday-night meetings, then the war began.”

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2 Responses to “I’m teaching a Grace Paley story tomorrow.”

  1. janet gool Says:

    So wise of you to teach Paley – which story is it? I’ve read all of her stories at least twice, but this is the first time I saw the obituary you posted. It is a beautiful tribute Paley and to the secular Yiddish world as well.
    Janet

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    janet: I taught “Conversation with my Father,” and it inspired the best class discussion so far this semester.

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