The First Two Pages: “The Cost of Living” by Saul Golubcow

In April 2015, B.K. Stevens debuted the blog series “The First Two Pages,” hosting craft essays by short story writers and novelists analyzing the openings of their own work. The series continued until just after her death in August 2017, and the full archive of those essays can be found at Bonnie’s website. In November 2017, the blog series relocated to my website, and the archive of this second stage of the series can be found here.

I first learned about Saul Golubcow’s collection The Cost of Living and Other Mysteries from the fascinating interview that Paula Gail Benson did with Golubcow last summer at The Stiletto Gang. In the interview, Golubcow talked about his detective, Holocaust survivor Frank Wolf; about how Wolf was inspired by his father-in-law, who lost his own family during the Holocaust; and about the qualities that the two share: extensive knowledge across a wide range of disciplines, a trust in the powers of critical analysis, and a resilience in the face of tremendous challenges. (He talked about much more too, so please do click through to the link above. Another feature on Golubcow and his work can be found at Washington Jewish Week.)

I’d planned on hosting Golubcow soon after that, so his appearance at the First Two Pages is belated a bit—but I’m so pleased to finally be welcoming him this week with a terrific essay, where he elaborates on several aspects of Frank’s character and of Frank’s grandson Joel too, who narrates the stories.

The Cost of Living and Other Mysteries is available now from Wildside Press. Hope folks will check out this fascinating collection!

Please use the arrows and controls at the bottom of the embedded PDF to navigate through the essay. You can also download the essay to read off-line.