Short Story #18. Promenade (Henrietta Rose-Innes)

Deal Me In Reading Challenge: I drew the three of diamonds.

Story: Promenade, by Henrietta Rose-Innes (in The Granta Book of the African Short Story)

Comments: This is my newest favourite short story of the year!  It’s great.  The narrator (nameless) is a middle-aged, single man, and we learn from the first few funny paragraphs that he is slightly pompous, unimaginative, and self-preoccupied.  He prides himself on looking less that his age, and exercises, rather mildly, every evening for the sake of his health, power-walking along the sea-front.  He regularly passes another man, a boxer, and they develop a strange, wordless relationship through their regular brief meetings.  And then something happens which completely disorients the narrator – and he realises that he is, after all, beginning to look old…  It is brilliantly written, in straightforward but memorable language, and is by turns funny, poignant, insightful, melodic and deep.

Henrietta Rose-Innes is an award-winning South African writer.

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2 thoughts on “Short Story #18. Promenade (Henrietta Rose-Innes)

  1. Pingback: Deal Me In – Week 21 Wrap Up | Bibliophilopolis

  2. This certainly sounds like a winner. I see in looking it up on google that its’ now also part of an anthology of South African short stories. Maybe I’ll devote a suit to African stories next year… & as a middle aged guy myself, I can easily sympathize with the MC’s situation. 🙂

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