My only experience with Theodore Dreiser is with Sister Carrie the epic tale of love and loss against the background of Chicago, New York and the great depression. This slim collection of short stories was purchased for $1 on my last holiday to Chicago and instantly you are reminded of the creative ability Dreiser had at his fingertips.
* A 60 year old architect living in New York is being told by his family doctor that his wife of thirty years is unwell and might potentially die and in reaction the architect almost wills it to happen so he can be free
* He looks back over his life and realises that he made a mistake marrying his wife and apart from his first child, who died at the age of two, he has never really been happy in the rleationship
* He weighs up why he never left his wife and reveals it was because of fear of the social stigma it would have caused despite him not enjoying being married plus his wife had married their other two children into socially connected families
* In the end he realises he is almost murdering her with his thoughts so tries to be pleased when she seems to recover but he is woken from his sleep to be told that his wife has died and he realises he is free at last – but free to die and not to live again