Some of my most memorable experiences of art are those over which I pre-rolled my eyes at the audacity. Black Watch, the play about a 2004 Scottish Army regiment’s eye view of the war in Iraq, crunched my ribs with its earned emotion. Let the Great World Spin, Colum McCann’s 2006 braided novel, powerfully evoked the Twin Towers with an arc of tightrope artist Philippe Petit’s 1974 walk between the two. The book floated with a poetic touch.
Like these expertly harnessed works, “Hagar’s Sons” is a deeply ambitious short story. The narrative hinges on a marriage forced by pregnancy. A discontent business analyst. A dead father. A surprise trip to Dubai. A sheik. A 9/11 conspiracy. It’s a high thread count story, but writer Steve Almond is a very skillful wordsmith.
“The call startled him.”Continue Reading