Short Story #358: Miss Luhester Gives a Party by Ronald Fair

Title:  Miss Luhester Gives a Party

Author:  Ronald Fair


Book cover to The Best Short Stories by Negro Writers - Langston Hughes.
Luhester is quite the phenomenon in her neighborhood.  She owns a house, has five children by presumably five different fathers, and has never married.  But she is absolutely adored by everyone who meets her and therefore she is well looked after by everyone around.  The narrator explains that everybody did their part to help her and would regularly go out of their way to do so.  This included helping her clean up and fix up her house.  In her gratitude, she decides to throw a party for everyone that has helped.  The oldest daughter is sent out to invite people and as she does, places shut down and people leave to get ready.  Not everyone is invited.  It's known that her parties are filled with alcohol, food, sex, and fighting.  This party quickly descends at one point to which people are passed out while others are breaking and stealing stuff.  It's on this note that the narrator remarks (as he's stealing records) that it was indeed the best party ever thrown at Luhester's house.  


Quite a revelry and bacchanalia going on at Luhester's house.  Since some of the facts are unclear, I'm not sure how I entirely feel about the story.  There are parts where it discusses girls going upstairs with men repeatedly.  I'm not quite sure if these were Luhester's daughters and if so, how old they were.  There is a sense of full circle with the story though in that the house which was fixed in the fall, seems to be ruined in the spring and one wonders if this is how the house is cycled each year.
Short Story #358 out of 365
Rating:  2 (out of 5 stars)
Date Read:  12/1/2014
Source:  The Best Short Stories by Negro Writers, ed. by Langston Hughes.  Little, Brown, and Company, 1967.  

For a full listing of all the short stories in this series, check out the category 365 Short Stories a year.

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