This story can be found in the July 27, 2015 issue of The New Yorker magazine.
First Line: "Ann Gallagher was listening to the wireless, cutting out a boxy short jacket with three-quarter-length sleeves, in a pale-lilac wool flecked with navy."
Last Line: "A jacket hardly mattered, in the scheme of things."
I write literary reviews. And yet, I loved this short story so much I do not want to write a literary review of it.
"Analysis destroys wholes. Some things, magic things, are meant to stay whole. If you look at their pieces, they go away." (Please ignore the fact that I just quoted Bridges of Madison County. I know it is not a "literary" delight, but I read it in high school and this became my senior quote. It has become imbedded deep in my cerebral tissue - not to be denied because of snobbery.)
I do not want anything to be moved, shifted, or reworked in my brain about "Silk Brocade".
There is a feeling that came over me when reading this story - a sense of magic - as when I read Dodie Smith's I Capture the Castle. Maybe it is similar timing and setting. Maybe similar themes - but I don't want to know. I just want to continue to love it.
A brief synopsis? Very brief. A young woman is a designer and seamstress, moving her way up in the world, especially when an acquaintance is to marry a rich man with old and lovely materials in his home. He is willing to share. With these, Ann can make beautiful, and unique clothing. There is a drunken picnic, an upcoming wedding, a death, a child, and a silk brocade.
The first and last lines cradle the content of this tale, letting the story naturally sway - move - from moment to moment.
Please read this story without ay intent to dissect or judge or critique. Just experience the fact that this story is enough.
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