Ron Carlson’s story ‘Bigfoot Stole My Wife’ presents a deadbeat narrator who views his wife’s unannounced disappearance through a sensationalist lens. Turning to ‘strange phenomena’ and ‘unexplained mysteries’ as a way to account for his wife’s sudden absence, he deludes himself into believing that Bigfoot — the hairy proto-human of tabloid journalism — has entered the house and kidnapped her.1 Readers understand that she has left because the speaker is a wholesale loser (lacking discernible work, rising from bed in the early afternoon, living at the race track), and the story cleverly unfolds in the space between what the narrator tells us and what we infer from the details he unwittingly leaks. For the story’s narrator, Bigfoot becomes a device of evasion and exoneration. For Carlson, on the other hand, this ‘otherworldly’ creature provides a fantastical way of addressing the ‘real-world’ psychological complexities of loss, regret, and denial.
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