Fiction | December 01, 1980

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The Changeling

Joyce Carol Oates

When father was finally released from the hospital at Vanderpoel he was much changed in his heart, and nobody would acknowledge the fact but me.  They have all pretended otherwise.  The lot of them, my brothers, my aunts, my great uncle Tyler; Reverend Muske; Father’s broker, Father’s attorney, Father’s accountant, Father’s former secretary, even Father’s physician Dr. Freyling; our housekeeper, our cook, our gardener, our chauffeur.  “How well he looks! How greatly he has improved!” they say, squeezing my hand.  Their eyes flood with tears of pity; they want only to escape.

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