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A bourgeois story

Out of the fading political past, a friend returns to haunt my comfortable world

By James Lasdun   April 2002

I read the letter with a feeling of unease, then put it in one of the partitioned receptacles on the desk in my study and packed my briefcase for work. From a mahogany periodical rack I selected a publication to read on the tube-a digest of reports on lawsuits arising from shipping accidents around the globe.

Karen was in the room we call the breakfast room, feeding our baby daughter, Sophie.

Spring sunlight, with a tint of green from the foliage of the communal garden, came through the window, and there was a sound of birds in the cherry tree…

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