She sagged suddenly with terror, imagining what would happen if Donald actually won. Everything would change. Her contentment would crack into pieces. The relentless intrusions into their lives; those horrible media people who never gave Donald any credit would get even worse. She had never questioned Donald’s dreams because they did not collide with her need for peace. Only once, when he was angry about something to do with his TV show, and abruptly decided to leave her and Barron in Paris and go back to New York, she had asked him quietly, “When will it be enough?” She had been rubbing her caviar cream on Barron’s cheeks — he was about 6 then — and Donald ignored her question and said, “Keep doing that and you’ll turn that kid into a sissy.
The New York Times is commissioning short stories about the US election, and that is an except from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s contribution.
A parody of Trump is, I admit, satisfying. Adichie knows what the Times audience wants, and she delivers it well. But as I read the story, I couldn’t help but think that it’s that smugness that makes half the country hate the Times audience and want to vote for a man like Trump.
Adichie has a fantastic book of short stories that skewers Nigerian elites. Wouldn’t a much more skillful, better short story have made us see Trump in a more sympathetic light? The so-called liberals of New York (like me) who push for equal rights with one hand while pushing their kids to private schools with the other. Or support more open borders on principle, failing to mention that it lowers the cost of their house help without threatening their own jobs.