Wednesday, February 01, 2006


There are three reasons why you should read this short story:

1) It's perfect.
2) It's by Tobias Wolff.
3) It's short.

The whole country was being hollowed out like this, devoured from the inside, and nobody was fighting back. It was embarrassing, vaguely shameful, to watch people get pushed around without a fight. That’s why he’d taken on his little pop-eyed pug of a client with her fucked-up hand—she was a battler. Stonewalled every step of the way, bombarded with demands for documents, secretly videotaped, insulted with dinky settlement offers, even threatened with a countersuit, she just lowered her head and kept coming. She’d spent all her savings going after the surgeon who’d messed her up, to the point where she’d had to move to San Francisco to live with her son, a paralegal in Burke’s firm. Her lawyer back here in New Delft had suffered a stroke and bowed out. The case was a long shot but Burke had taken it on contingency, because he saw that she wouldn’t back off, she’d keep pushing to the end.

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