Northeast Regional

Emma Cline

Read time: a minute

Parenting is something every human being over fourteen has commented on; whether as the child or the parent. We’ve all had our parents complain about us that we don’t understand them, and we’ve all in turn, as teenagers or otherwise, complained how our parents don’t “get” us. The gap’s ever-existent.

I chanced upon this story on New Yorker yesterday. I picked it up for the illustration as well as the title—more like I did not understand the title (now I know it’s the name of a train). When I was some five minutes into the story, I forgot the title and was too engrossed to care to recollect.

The story begins with Richard, the father, planning his options as he heads to the train. He calculates the time he has to call for help in case he needs it. And then his thoughts go back to the weekend, when he’d not yet gotten the call. The call was in the middle of the night, from his ex-wife—his son’s mother—that the son’s school had called one of them over, over a disciplinary issue.

The story is about how Richard deals with the situation. Saying anything more would reveal a little too much about the story. So, let me just say that this is a beautiful piece of work that brings out a lot about parenting, and human character.

Go ahead and read Northeast Regional on New Yorker. You can also read what the author has to say on a Father Confronting His Son’s Transgression.

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Ram Iyer

Writer, PowerShell addict, typographer, self-acclaimed rationalist.

Bangalore, KA