a novella and seven stories
The District consists of a novella and seven short stories. The novella is told in the form of an author’s notes about a novel he is planning to write. It is about five characters who live in the western district of a large city on the coast of California. The actor used to be one but not recently; the writer lives in a storefront and writes in cafes; the teacher writes about Russian women poets; the orphan is mute and is, like plants, prone to narcolepsy; the alcoholic drinks in The Dive. The sixth character is the district itself.
The short stories include a mother and son visiting Paris, a grad student picks up a freshman, an epidemiologist examines a globe, a strange encounter between a woman and man on a plane, an old man stops in a hotel during a blizzard, a “painter” hides his identity, and a photographer documents northern New Mexico.