(Comprehensive Guide to Short Stories, Critical Edition)

“Somebody Up There Likes Me” is told in the first person from the point of view of the main character, Dante Allegro Annunziata. Most of the action in the story revolves around Dante’s reception of and response to e-mail. The primary emphasis is given to the movement of text in Internet communication.

The story opens with Dante receiving four e-mails, the first from his distant wife, Snookie Lee Ludlow, and three from his boss, Mary Beth. He reads Snookie Lee’s message, then explains that his wife has left him to pursue a doctorate in women’s studies in San Antonio, Texas, 1,500 miles away. He relates his last e-mail to his wife and decides to put off opening the three e-mails from Mary Beth. Dante then describes how he met Snookie Lee at a poetry slam as a student and how they both moved to San Jose when he was offered a professorship at the College of the Mind. He recounts his difficulty with Mary Beth, who is out to get him, and his dislike of being separated from Snookie Lee.

A new e-mail from Dante’s friend Boyce P. Hoodington invites him to dinner, and he accepts. On Dante’s arrival, Boyce confides that his computer project has been downsized and that he has been terminated. While checking his e-mail, Dante receives a message from Snookie Lee, in which she reveals her nervousness about her upcoming oral exams. She also criticizes higher education as shallow and oppressive because it forces her to regurgitate theories in...

(The entire section is 471 words.)