Short Story Friday: Outsiders by Margaret Young

It’s time to get back to AMV’s Friday Features. And I wanted to do so by digging into the Dialogue archives and pulling out a short story that I had never read or even heard of but one that was by an author whose work I was familiar with. I haven’t read it yet — and I’m booked this weekend so I may not get to it until Sunday afternoon or evening. But this it what fit the bill. Enjoy (I hope)…

Title: Outsiders

Author: M. J. Young (Margaret Young)

Publication Info: Dialogue 24:1 (Spring 1991)

Submitted by: Wm Morris

Why?: I don’t know yet.

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6 thoughts on “Short Story Friday: Outsiders by Margaret Young”

  1. I read it and enjoyed it. Very well written. Nice use of concrete detail interlocking with themes — and considerations of what it means to be Mormon.

    I’m not sure how to work Junie’s experience into the pattern of the rest of what was going on. Maybe the place it all comes together is in the effect on the POV character.

    William, thanks for posting this.

  2. .

    Well, the pov character is growing up immensely during the tale, but primarily through observing others. Yes, she gets to kiss etc, but most of what she learns, she learns through watching. So Junie is part of that.

  3. Thinking about the story this morning, one of the points that sticks with me is how Margaret relentlessly backs the POV character into a position where he has to say that he supports the Church’s position, even though that’s not a message that will win him any friends personally — or for the Church. It’s a position I can sympathize with.

  4. I agree with the other characters that the use of detail and the growth of the main character was masterfully done.

    The climactic retort, however (it’s not my church, it’s God’s), was amazingly cliche — both the set-up line and the payoff. It looks like the author meant it to have the moral weight to counterbalance the tragic interpersonal rift. But, really, it’s a convenient way to avoid taking responsibility for your own moral choices.

    Of course I may be misinterpreting; perhaps the author meant the line to ring hollow…

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