[Reading Room] We Was Twins by Fiona Maazel

This story takes place against the backdrop (as they say) of the Occupy Wall St movement. As well as being a really good story, it’s a great example of how you can take a hot news story and use it to ground your story without risking it seeming dated, later.

How does that author do this? Well, let me set the scene for you.

The story centers on Lew, who has taken a trip to New York city to see his twin brother, Bix. His tour bus stops alongside the Occupy Wall St folks, and their driver encourages them to get out and ‘be a part of history’.

Maazel has already let us know that Lew and Bix were in the navy together and now he starts to reflect on his life after the navy. Things have not gone well for Lew, and he’s more at sea now than he was when he was (sorry) at sea. With hints and wry observations, Lew tells heartbreaking details¬†about his life, even as he gets swept up in the events of the day.

By using the Occupy movement as a backdrop, Maazel gives Lew a reason to reflect on the course his life has taken. By telling us the personal story of this particular protagonist, she keeps this story from going stale, long after the news cameras moved on.

Read the story online or listen to this wonderful performance by Cory Michael Smith.