The Lurking White Woman

In the short story, “A Conversation About Bread” Eldwin has to complete an assignment for class, which includes writing a story based off a story of what Brian (Eldwin’s classmate) gives. Brian grew up in Jackson, Mississippi and Eldwin writes his story on Brian’s Southern experience. We are given a glimpse of the story Eldwin writes and Brian thinks that it is a bit stereotypical and compares Eldwin to a white anthropologist.

Throughout the story, we catch glimpses a white woman near them reacting to their conversation. The white woman appears to be listening intently and reacting to the different stories that Brian recounts. Near the end of the story, we are told that the white woman took out, “a little notebook with a pink cat on the cover” (Thompson 181). The story then closes describing the white woman and stating that, “She may have been an anthropologist too” (Thompson 183).

I believe that the lurking white woman represents what Brian wants Eldwin to avoid in his writing. He does not want for piece of writing to be stereotypical and depict all black people as one being or one characteristic. Brian wants to show how there are cultural differences and different types of black people.

4 thoughts on “The Lurking White Woman


    I found it interesting how you payed more attention to the white women lurking in the library. I didn’t pay much attention to her, but it makes sense that you would compare her to Eldwin.


  2. Max L

    I think the general theme of your last paragraph slightly hints at mutual recognition. By depicting cultural differences, Brian understands that people must understand other people’s values and differences, which I think is at the very foundation of Benjamin’s theory of mutual recognition.


  3. Alex P

    I like your idea of the white woman representing what Brian doesn’t want Eldwin’s writing to be. Brian was very adamant about not having the story taken the wrong way, specifically by white people, and this idea helps develop what Brian was truly trying to say.


  4. Molly H

    Tiara I really liked this post! I agree with you especially when you mentioned that the white woman is what Brian wants Eldwin to avoid in his writing. Within the story, Brian didn’t want Eldwin to be “a Kim.” I thought it was weird how at the end of the story, the text states, “she may have been an anthropologist too,” it leaves the reader with something to think about,


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