Stories that Teach: "Letter to the Lady of the House" by Richard Bausch

Well here's a happy discovery: the ever-wonderful Masters Review has a blog called "Stories that Teach." In their February edition, they discuss an old favorite: "Letter to the Lady of the House" by Richard Bausch. Their discussion questions the notion that sentiment is for suckers and examines what makes this romantic - but realistic - epistolary story so moving. "In 'Letter to the Lady of the House,' sheer sappiness bumps up against moments of ugliness," they say. "Grand proclamations about the nature of love follow descriptions of the mundane. Its sentimentality is not only excusable; it's extremely effective." You can listen to Bausch reading his story for "This American Life" and then read the analysis in "Stories that Teach." 

Previous editions of the blog examine the fictional lessons and social relevance of  Susan Minot’s story “Lust,” dissect the elegant sentences in Lauren Groff’s “Ghosts and Empties,” and consider what makes Steven Barthelme’s “Heaven” so effective. Check it out...