By Wiesław Myśliwski
Our hero and narrator is the getting older caretaker of cottages at a summer time inn. A mysterious customer evokes him to proportion the tale of his lengthy lifestyles: we witness a cheerful formative years lower brief via the warfare, his hiding from the Nazis buried in a heap of potatoes, his plodding makes an attempt to play the saxophone, the brutal homicide of his relatives, loves misplaced yet remembered, and footloose travels in a foreign country. instructed within the demeanour of acquaintances and acquaintances swapping tales over the mundane job of shelling beans—in the grand oral culture of Myśliwski’s celebrated Stone Upon Stone—each anecdote, lived event, and reminiscence accrues cross-stitched layers of which means. via turns hilarious and poignant, A Treatise on Shelling Beans is an epic recounting of a lifestyles that, whereas common, is something yet traditional.
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Mrs. " Mrs. Houston reached behind her desk and pulled out a handful of magazines: COSMOgirl, Seventeen, Glamour, Mademoiselle, Essence, Allure . . She handed them to Kelly. Kelly looked at them. " "Look at these magazines. " She means well, Kelly thought, but she doesn't understand. "Thank you, Mrs. " I'll start looking for a job next week. * * * KELLY TOOK THE magazines back to the boardinghouse and shoved them into a corner and forgot about them. She spent the evening doing her chores. As Kelly started to get into bed that night, exhausted, she remembered the magazines Mrs.
Mrs. Houston's tone was firm. " "You'll soon be old enough to make your own decisions. You're a beautiful young woman, Kelly. " "No. " How can I tell her that I feel like a freak? I don't feel beautiful. "I hate my life, Mrs. Houston. I don't want to be like— I want to get away from this town. " She was trying hard to control her emotions. " Her voice was bitter. " "Because they're filled with lies. " Kelly shook her head. " Mrs. Houston studied her a moment. It was obvious that Kelly's sense of self-worth had been badly damaged.
She could not be persuaded. * * * THE FOLLOWING DAY, when the doorbell rang, Diane reluctantly went to the door. She looked through the peephole, and there seemed to be a small crowd outside. Puzzled, Diane opened the door. There were a dozen young boys in the hallway. One of them was holding a little bouquet of flowers. "Good morning, Mrs. " He handed the bouquet to Diane. " She suddenly remembered who they were. They were members of the Little League team that Richard had coached. Diane had received countless baskets of flowers, cards of condolence, and e-mails, but this was the most touching gift of all.