Joy by Jonathan Lee

Joy

Jonathan Lee

Although slightly disconcerting to begin with, the story is cleverly told in two strands: in real time by the main character and in reflections on the past by others. Thus the background to, and consequences of, the main scene are gradually revealed. A humorous but poignant modern story of high fliers and what lies behind a workplace façade in today's London.

Extract

She wanted to tell him this one night, explain that her suicide would be a rational, muted thing, truer to her temperament than the lurching flash of normal life, but she has run out of time and, anyway, she knows what he would say. Bullshit, Joy, you can’t grant yourself a neat, aesthetic end. You won’t be able to pat yourself on the back afterwards. You can’t perfect death like it’s a room in need of redecoration, or a memorandum in need of redrafting. You’ll make The Lawyer, not The Times. Shakespeare isn’t around to write a play about your last day. History won’t miss you, but I will ….

Parallels
  • Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris
  • Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple