White Angel (short story)by Published 01 Jan 1970
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"White Angel (short story)" Reviews
Devastating. Particularly powerful is the reading of this story by James Naughton on NPR's "Selected Shorts." Download it, it'll haunt you for years.
Read this shorty story for a college english course, and enjoyed it. I identified with Bobby's character in many ways. The characters are fleshed out really well. I'm told a movie has been made including this story, but I haven't yet seen it.
The other day, I dropped by the journalism and photography room at my high school. I had some fine art works to scan for the literary magazine, and the school photography teacher had the only scanner large enough. As I got to work, my teacher asked me how I'd liked the copy of Tin House magazine he'd let me borrow. I told him how much I'd liked the first short story in the book, "Ryan Shiffrin." My teacher had liked it, too, and as we talked, he brought up this story, "White Angel." As soon as he thought of it, he decided I absolutely had to read it. It had blown him away when he'd read it in college, and he hoped I'd be similarly moved. So he printed out a copy for me, and I took it home and read it. I did like it, but I wouldn't read it twice. I just couldn't relate to the characters--a 9 year old boy and his druggie teen brother. I will say, though, that the scene where the boy hears his father playing music in the basement below and lies down on the floor and starts playing his harmonica really got to me, and the horrific end shocked me and left me thinking--all signs of good writing. Still, I don't understand the point or theme of the story, and it didn't speak to me personally.
i found this gem during my literature class. my professor decided to add this into a giant white packet which was one of the stories we had to look over at the start of the semester.
i have never read anything quite so powerful before. the symbolism in this piece is absolutely phenomenal. i never have re-read a story like this before in my life. the dynamic between two brothers from a very questionable perspective is at play, but the depth of broken brotherly bonds and an unexpected death so graphic and gruesome makes this one of my most treasured pieces of literature.
cunningham doesn't hold back. the effect of psychological power at play is sure to take you for by surprise.
This story takes place in Ohio in the sixties. It explains the life of two boys, who are involved with the culture that Woodstock has brought to the younger generation. Even at a young age they experience drugs and "Southern Comfort." Tragedy strikes the family when the older brother dies and things begin to change as the future rolls on, being nothing like the younger brother expected.