In January 2021 Graham Swift’s short story “Blushes” was published in the

New Yorker

. Set in April 2020 at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the 4700-word story follows Dr Cole, a retired “specialist in respiratory disease”, who volunteers to assist, for “several uncountable hours” each day, with the increasing number of gravely ill patients at the hospital where he used to work. As Dr Cole drives through deserted streets from his “expensive and comfortable” suburban home to the hospital at six in the morning, he finds himself in a “ghost world” inhabited only by birds and foxes. A widower without children, the seventy-two-year-old doctor lost “the women of his life”, his mother and his wife, in the last three years. Volunteering offers him “something to…

1041 words

Citation: Logotheti, Anastasia. "Blushes". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 August 2021 [, accessed 16 July 2024.]

40566 Blushes 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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