Set in the South in the early 1960s, ‘‘Everything That Rises Must Converge’’ opens with the protagonist, a young writer named Julian, reflecting on the reasons that he must accompany his mother to her weekly weight-loss meeting. She goes to the meetings because she has high blood pressure, but considers them one of her ‘‘few pleasures.’’
However, Julian’s mother has refused to ride the bus alone since the bus system became racially integrated. Julian dreads the trips, but feels obligated to do as she wishes.
On the evening when the story takes place,...
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