In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson Is BuriedAmy Hempel Author BiographyPlot Born December 14, , in Chicago, Illinois, Amy Hempel moved to San. Tell me things I won’t mind forgetting,” she said. “Make it useless stuff or skip it.” I began. I told her insects fly through rain, mi For the short story reader. Updated. Amy Hempel’s In The cemetery Where Al Jolsen is Buried is a moving story of a woman living through the death of her best friend from a terminal illness.

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Want to Read Currently Reading Read. If you like short, contemporary stories, this is a good pick. Indeed, the narrator views her amu as already dead “she was moved to the cemetery”so what is the point?

At its best it can, with economy and restraint, amplify perception and force meaning to leap from the page.

In The Cemetery Where Al Jolsen is Buried by Amy Hempel

In fact, many doctors purposely distance themselves from their patients not because they are callused or cold, but because of the pain such temporary and ultimately tragic relationships can inflict. Iski rated it it was amazing Apr 11, The narrator recalls her one and only hospital visit to her best friend, who was dying.

Because each style has tthe own formatting nuances that evolve over time and ceetery all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.

However, her fear of death permeates her actions and thoughts while with her friend. A stop in Malibu for sangria.

In The Cemetery Where Al Jolsen is Buried

The friend throws a fit upon realizing the narrator is leaving, yanking off her protective mask and running out of the room. The prose is beautifully written and very moving, and very skillfully shows the emotions she is going through without sappy sentimentality. She also names other contemporary short story writers such as Mary Robison and Raymond Carver as having affected her style.


A subtle universality of feeling infuses the more fully realized stories, transcending the cliche— or forcing it to underscore and serve a greater truth. Or, at least, it must not be so hard to face.

This line of reasoning leaves no room for commitment to another, for instance. Refresh and try again. That when they asked her who did it on the desk, she signed back the name of the janitor. At times the voice telling this story seems to move into a narrative technique known as stream-of consciousness—the literary attempt to reproduce the pattern of a demetery in unchecked thought, simultaneously moving in multiple levels of awareness, issuing an uninterrupted flow of sensations, thoughts, memories, associations, and reflections.

I told her insects fly through rain, missing every drop, never getting wet. Storytelling provides options for different behaviors, and provides explanations. I’m a huge fan qmy audible. Most readers see her fictional realm as one of sadness and bittersweet consolation, a world of natural catastrophe, highway accidents, insanity, and death. Aldridge evaluates the writing styles and creative work of new writers whose fiction has been produced in college and university creative writing centers.

Hmpel take place in earthquake and landslide country, where stability is revealed to be a necessary delusion. Now she has overcome that weakness, but only to the degree that she can joke with her friend; a real meaningful connection between them never takes place.


A difference in this collection, though, is the occasional presence of an authorial intrusion, an attribute generally not associated with minimalism. Activities for this list: Inappropriate language is often a symptom of denial. This story was recommended by Manjushree Thapa.

Vocabulary from “In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson is Buried” by Amy Hempel

But the narrator does not ln her understanding. The narrator alludes to the irony in this, but seems incapable of understanding it. He looked at his injured arm, slashed to the bone, and died of fright. Eskimos do not need refrigerators to keep their food from freezing; it is childish to believe that all Eskimos live in igloos in a permanently frozen wasteland. You can almost hear her gum crack as she speaks.

When the ride was over and my jabbering pulse began to slow, she served five parts champagne to one part orange juice, and joked about living in Ocean View, Kansas.

Use it to prep for your next quiz! The friend is interested in hearing about the first chimp that was trained to talk until the narrator warns her that the outcome is sad, at which point the friend commands her to stop the story. Al Jolson is buried in the cemetery where the dying girl will be csmetery his blackface mask may symbolize the “show” that everyone, including the doctors, is putting on.

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