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History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund Read Online (FREE)

Book Cover

History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund Read Online Free

Originally published: January 2017
Author: Emily Fridlund
Genres: Novel, Psychological Fiction
Nominations: Booker Prize, PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize

Read History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund full novel online free here.

 

Become conscious for a single moment that Life and intelligence are purely spiritual,—neither in nor of matter,— and the body will then utter no complaints.

—Mary Baker Eddy,
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures

 

I won’t be dying after all, not now, but will go on living dizzily hereafter in reality, half-deaf to reality, in the room perfumed by the fire that our inextinguishable will begins.

—Timothy Donnelly, “The New Intelligence”

 

 SCIENCE

1

IT’S NOT THAT I NEVER THINK ABOUT PAUL. He comes to me occasionally before I’m fully awake, though I almost never remember what he said, or what I did or didn’t do to him. In my mind, the kid just plops down into my lap. Boom. That’s how I know it’s him: there’s no interest in me, no hesitation. We’re sitting in the Nature Center on a late afternoon like any other, and his body moves automatically toward mine—not out of love or respect, but simply because he hasn’t yet learned the etiquette of minding where his body stops and another begins. He’s four, he’s got an owl puzzle to do, don’t talk to him. I don’t. Outside the window, an avalanche of poplar fluff floats by, silent and weightless as air. The sunlight shifts, the puzzle cleaves into an owl and comes apart again, I prod Paul to standing. Time to go. It’s time. But in the second before we rise, before he whines out his protest and asks to stay a little longer, he leans back against my chest, yawning. And my throat cinches closed. Because it’s strange, you know? It’s marvelous, and sad too, how good it can feel to have your body taken for granted.

* * *

 

Before Paul, I’d known just one person who’d gone from living to dead. He was Mr. Adler, my eighth-grade history teacher. He wore brown corduroy suits and white tennis shoes, and though his subject was America he preferred to talk about czars. He once showed us a photograph of Russia’s last emperor, and that’s how I think of him now—black bearded, tassel shouldered—though in fact Mr. Adler was always clean shaven and plodding. I was in English class when his fourth-period student burst in saying Mr. Adler had fallen. We crowded across the hall and there he lay facedown on the floor, eyes closed, blue lips suctioning the carpet. “Does he have epilepsy?” someone asked. “Does he have pills?” We were all repulsed. The Boy Scouts argued over proper CPR techniques, while the gifted and talented kids reviewed his symptoms in hysterical whispers. I had to force myself to go to him. I crouched down and took Mr. Adler’s dry-meat hand. It was early November. He was darkening the carpet with drool, gasping in air between longer and longer intervals, and I remember a distant bonfire scent. Someone was burning garbage in plastic bags, some janitor getting rid of leaves and pumpkin rinds before the first big snow.