Nancy Scott Hanway

Stories about Breasts

UncategorizedNancy Scott HanwayComment

I read at least a dozen literary journals every month, and lately I've noticed stories about breasts. In these stories, there are breasts, always called boobs, that bob and slump and bounce and jiggle. Sometimes the boobs are compared to zeppelins or air bags. The woman with description-worthy boobs is always untrustworthy. The stories are beautifully written. There is often a quirky woman--a bearded lady or tattooed teenager--who is the center of things, symbolizing the strange state of being that is the male narrator’s life. Sometimes she has description-worthy breasts, sometimes she is flat-chested. Sometimes the narrator has sex with her, but more often he is denied his desire. She is demanding. The narrator uses fuck. A lot. The narrator uses nouns as adjectives. “He got all oracle-y on me.” The narrator downs vodka shots as a way of demonstrating his secure masculinity, often at a party where the other guests make strange statements. There is spaghetti-strap lingerie. And they use the word ‘dusky.’

Did I mention that these are often beautifully written? And that--from the attitudes about women--you can't tell that nearly a century has passed since Hemingway began publishing fiction?