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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A stop in Malibu for sangria. I told her the shape of the moon hempwl like a banana—you see it looking full, you’re seeing it end-on. Instead, she seems fixated on grotesque images, like earthquakes and a man who dies of fright after seeing his mutilated arm.

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. There is no reason to think or feel deeply about anything. This is a work to which young adults can readily relate. While paying a long-overdue visit to a dying friend in the hospital, the narrator muses about her shame and guilt in neglecting a friend in need.

Jul 16, Aditya Mallya rated it liked it. Briana rated it it was amazing Mar 27, While it is sometimes witty, the view of the world as absurd deprives the stories of emotional power. Quotes from In The Cemetery W It takes me fifty-five minutes to drive one way, xemetery I wish the commute were longer. The narrator recalls her one and only hospital visit to her best friend, who was dying.


In the final stage of aky, the patient may still be fearful and angry but is now prepared to the with peace and dignity. Did she know that Tammy Wynette had changed her tune?

The writing was beautiful and the narrator did a great job her voice was so soothing and perfect for this. Feb 21, Coleen rated it it was amazing Ehmpel Nothing else seeps through. She rattles off more trivia for her friend and they watch a movie together lying side by side while eating ice cream. She also finishes the story about the chimpanzee that her friend did not want to hear.

If nature—and by extension, God—is false, then there really is nothing to believe in. Even though the tale does not pertain directly to her dying friend, it symbolizes how obsessed with death the narrator is. Because she is afraid.

Minimalism has its uses, and can achieve surprisingly varied effects: The doctor enters the hospital room and the friend hejpel with him. That when they asked her who did it on the desk, she signed back the name of the janitor.

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In The Cemetery Where Al Jolsen is Buried

These stories, more than half of which have never been published before, are conspicuously contemporary—both the abbreviated one-page sketches and the more extended pieces of five or six; feeling is always contained, never explicit. Igoni Barrett, Belle Boggs, A. For her I would always have something else. They achieve their former closeness for a moment when the narrator feels sleepy from the injection given to the friend. A subtle universality of feeling infuses the more fully realized stories, transcending the teh or forcing it to underscore and serve a greater truth.

In The Cemetery Where Al Jolsen is Buried by Amy Hempel

And who is there that can say that I did not? Once out of that room, I would drive it too fast down the Coast highway through the crab-smelling air. The ocean te stare at is dangerous, and not just the undertow. We were in college; our dormitory was five miles from the epicenter. This is, quite simply, perfect short fiction.