Pacing Banality | Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum’s “The Bears”

A small handful of articles have been published online about Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum’s “The Bears,” a story first published in Glimmertrain that now appears in Best American Short Stories 2016. These articles largely discuss (or criticize) the story’s adherence to the Goldilocks and the Three Bears fairy tale—something Bynum writes about herself in her contributor’s note. But what I’ve not seen discussed is the sublimity of the story’s final pages: the way Bynum uses a sudden shifts in pacing to contrast wonder with banality.

Continue reading →